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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.

The Gift of Reading

The Library offers a white elephant staff picks display with books patrons can surprise themself with.

By Chantal Cagle, Information Assistant

Last year, one night in December, a gentleman pulled up to the Main Library drive-up window to pick up his holds. I scanned his card and saw he had 13 books waiting for him.

"You have a lot to pick up!" I said.
"It's the best part of Christmas," he replied.

As I trundled back and forth between the shelves and the checkout counter with his books, I pondered his words. Surely he knew he had to return the books? I handed him back his library card.

"When you said it was the best part of Christmas, did you mean you have more time to read them, or did you mean giving the books?"
"The books are destined to be wrapped and deposited under the tree," he replied.
"You know you have to return them though, right?"
"Oh yes, that's part of the fun––not holding onto things," he laughed.

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.

Reading Glasses Available at the Library

Around 30 years ago, Librarians began to purchase a small supply of reading glasses for use in the Library. Staff realized that many of the customers who borrowed glasses could not afford to buy pairs for themselves. As demand grew, the Library looked for a way to allow customers to keep their glasses. The Library found an affordable solution, purchasing discounted pairs through the eyeglass recycling program at the Lions Club. 

Last August, Sharon Marsh, a faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College and employee of the IU School of Optometry, overheard a Library customer request a pair of reading glasses from a Library employee. In the Optometric Technology program at Ivy Tech, Marsh teaches a class where students make glasses with reconditioned frames and optical quality lenses. Marsh reached out to Community Engagement Librarian, Bobby Overman, to see if the Library would be interested in receiving donations of these glasses. 

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.

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.

2019 Be More Award Recipients are VITAL

Be More Awards 2019

The ​​City of Bloomington Volunteer Network Be More Awards is the local community's way of honoring and applauding the outstanding, but often unrecognized efforts of its volunteers. Ten awards are presented annually during a celebration honoring nominees in which a $500 check is presented to each of the recipient's volunteer organizations in honor of their outstanding service.

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)!

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