Paula G.O.'s blog

Library Eliminates Overdue Fines

The Library is closing the book on your fines!

At their meeting on Wednesday, January 15, the Library Board of Directors approved a policy to eliminate overdue fines, effective March 1. The policy waives all unpaid overdue fines and collection agency fees charged prior to implementation, and eliminates fines for all late returns moving forward.

Libraries have long charged overdue fines to promote responsible borrowing and as a modest source of revenue. Recent national trends have shifted to focus on the negative impacts of fines as a deterrent to library use, especially among disadvantaged individuals. Consequently, a growing number of public libraries have eliminated overdue fines in an effort to support all members of their communities, and the American Library Association earlier this year passed a resolution stating that fines constitute a barrier to service and urging their elimination nationwide.

Census at the Library

hands raised

The Library is a proud partner of the 2020 census, which determines the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding. If you’re not already familiar, once every 10 years, the census counts every person residing in the 50 United States, DC, and five US territories. Data collected affects the country’s ability to ensure equal representation and access to government resources, directly affecting funding for schools, healthcare services, housing, transportation, and of course, libraries.

April 1 is officially Census Day, though the public may respond to the census earlier. If you are able to receive postal mail, you can look for your invitation to arrive in mid-March. The 2020 census is the first to encourage participation through online response. The invitation will provide a unique code allowing you to participate online, as well as information about how to answer the census by telephone or postal mail.

Library Receives Grants for Seed Library and Gardening Initiatives

Seed Library

According to the National Gardening Association, 35% of households in the US grow food either at home or in a community garden, up 200% in the last ten years. In keeping with the trend, the Library recently applied for and received two generous gardening grants.

The Main Library received a grant from the George E. Archer Foundation to support a series of gardening programs for preschool and school-aged children, the purchase of a bench in the Children’s Garden, and the start of a seed library. The George E. Archer Foundation strives to help boys and girls learn about gardening in South Central Indiana, providing grants that support gardening education initiatives for youth.

Programs for New and Expecting Parents

Yoga at the Library

In early 2017, after the Baby Space at the Main Library opened, the Library partnered with IU Health Women and Children’s Services on a series of programs for new parents. IU Health had offered similar programs in other locations but was eager to move into the Library’s welcoming, accessible space. The Library was, and continues to be, excited to offer programs led by knowledgeable registered nurses that address the mental and physical health of parent and baby. The series kicked off with Moms’ Mondays, followed closely by Yoga with Baby.

Fitness at the Library

Booking It: Summer Running Program

When you think “Library,” do you think physical and mental fitness? Well, if you don’t, you should! Throughout the year, the Library offers free programs all about staying healthy and improving fitness. Now that summer is upon us, the Library is offering even more ways to exercise.

Every Monday evening, drop by for Yoga for the Community. Robin Halpin Young of Maxwell House Yoga teaches why the joyful practice of yoga is so powerful for keeping you healthy in body, mind, and spirit.

Speaking of mind and spirit health, have you heard of Being Bloomington: Being Peace? During this program, enjoy periods of silence accompanied by soothing, live, meditative music. Kat Forgacs leads participants through seated meditation, Tai Chi, and more.

Updated Library Catalog

New Catalog

The Library catalog will have an updated look and new features beginning May 19. Some of the new functionality you can look forward to follows.

Responsive Design

The Library catalog will responsively adjust for desktop computer screens, tablets, and phones by resizing and reordering the display according to your screen size, enhancing the user experience. This means that you will be able to read and navigate the site with minimum resizing and scrolling. Previously, patrons were directed to either a full-site catalog or a mobile catalog depending on their device.

One-Click Hold Requests

When logged into your account, you will be able to place hold requests with one click. When available, the "One-Click Request" button will appear on the search result and full title display pages for single titles (underneath the “Place Hold” button—which will still be available should you want to select an alternate location).

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians: April 2019

Your Friendly Neighborhood LibrariansIn this month's episode, we chat about food with the Education Coordinator from Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, learn about Earth Day's history and some its quirkier pop culture manifestations, discuss community outreach with the Library's Special Audiences Strategist, and discuss DIY and Upcycling Library resources.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians: March 2019

Your Friendly Neighborhood LibrariansThink Library Presents: Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians, a monthly podcast from Monroe County Public Library featuring our chattiest Librarians, Erica Brown and Matt Neer! In this month’s podcast, Matt and Erica explore forgotten and unknown women in history, learn how Library music and movies are selected, and face off in a mini Quiz Bowl moderated by VITAL's coordinator. Know what a literary canon is? Learn about and remake it! Have a question for next month’s podcast or want to appear on the show? Post it to our Facebook page or community [at] mcpl.info (subject: Your%20Friendly%20Neighborhood%20Librarians) (email us)!

Pioneer Grant to Reduce Library Barriers for Domestic Violence Survivors

Shannon Bowman-Sarkisian

After years of working in west coast bookstores and developing a specialty in rare books, Shannon
Bowman-Sarkisian is now studying to be a librarian at Indiana University and working as an Information
Assistant at the Library. Searching for meaningful opportunities to work on behalf of our community,
Shannon applied for and received the 2019 Pioneer Grant.

The Pioneer Grant invites Library employees to submit their enterprising ideas and lead the way to a
knowledgeable, inclusive, and engaged community empowered by the Library. Projects must be
innovative and beneficial to the community. The Friends of the Library provide funds to make the grant
project possible.

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