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Narwhal Appreciation Post

Team Narwal Kids

"Tails and Tales" summer reading games may be over, but we'll love that narwhal mascot for life! If you’re not ready for the end and want to learn more about narwhals, we can help!

Did you know that you have access to World Book Online with your library card? World Book Online helps you find answers and learn at any reading level––both at school and at home! You can find info on narwhals here! Did you know that the narwhal’s tusk is actually a long tooth?! You can also find resources for early literacy, student research, beginner’s Spanish language tools, eBooks, and more!

All Spaces and Services Open and Available

Marilyn Wood

Dear Patrons,

It’s been a long 16 months, and I’m very excited to announce that our safe and incremental approach to service has been a success. As of July 19, all pre-pandemic spaces and services are open and available to you.

Our community has seen several changes since the onset of the pandemic, many of which were addressed in our 2020 strategic plan.

While some things have changed, many remain the same––particularly, staying true to our mission to strengthen our community and enrich lives by providing equitable and impartial access to information and opportunities to read, learn, connect, and create.

We’ve appreciated your feedback along the way. Patron comments like the following really lifted our spirits during tough times.

Friends of the Library Pledge $650,000 to New Branch

A rendered image of the Library's atrium shows small meeting spaces on the left and stairs leading to the main floor. In the background, bookshelves and computer workstations are visible behind a large glass wall. Patrons are scattered through the spaces.

On Sunday, June 27, The Friends of the Monroe County Public Library Foundation pledged to donate $650,000 to the Library to equip a new branch on the south side of Monroe County. 

“We are excited to partner with the MCPL in funding the Southwest Branch as just one more way the Friends support the vision and values of the Library,” said Emily Bedwell, Friends of the Library Board President. “We believe that the strength of the community lies in our public libraries and their unique positioning to be centers of growth, learning, and civil engagement.”

“We are incredibly grateful for our long and supportive relationship with the Friends of the Library. This generous financial pledge helps to ensure we can better serve our community,” said Marilyn Wood, Library Director. 

Barb Fisher, VITAL Volunteer

Barb Fisher

Barbara “Barb” Fisher, a dear friend of the VITAL program, passed away on April 1, 2021. Barb’s love of reading led her to VITAL in 2008, when she participated in training to teach English as a New Language to Bloomington newcomers. Over the next 12 years, Barb was a regular fixture at VITAL. As a one-on-one tutor, she volunteered with nine different English language learners, helping them improve their language skills and confidence while adjusting to life in the US. As an office volunteer, she welcomed new faces at the VITAL front desk and assisted with clerical work. As a Quiz Bowl player, she matched wits with Bloomington’s finest trivia brains, competing under the titles “Infosyndics” and “VITAL Statistics” among other creative monikers. Finally, as a generous donor and supporter, she anonymously sponsored teams and encouraged many to take part in the annual fundraising and advocacy event. Barb was one of a kind, and she was certainly "vital" to us.

April 18–24 is National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank the volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voices to make a difference in our community! We are fortunate to have so many volunteers who are passionate about the Library’s mission and generously share their skills in a variety of long-term and short-term commitments.

Interning at the Library

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

“Despite the challenges presented to all of us in 2020 and beyond, we were excited to find a way to partner again with Bloomington High School North’s internship program. While our opportunities for internships during the pandemic were greatly limited, we created a safe pathway for an internship to take place during this extraordinary time. Our values and goals support experiential learning, with a focus on lifelong learning, inclusiveness, and developing essential life skills. Here at our Library, internships aim to provide valuable career experience, teach important workplace habits, introduce students to new contacts and social connections, and hope their time spent with us is fun and fulfilling. The mutually beneficial support each internship provides to the Library and our constituents is invaluable. Some internships at the Library have brought us talented staff that are now a part of our current team.

Celebrating Diverse Voices

Everyone has a Story

A Note from the Director

Our community is passionate about our Library. You see us as a catalyst for growth and well-being, envisioning the Library as a public space that invites and embraces community support. Our 2021–23 strategic plan centers around diversity, inclusion, and respect. In support of this, we plan to facilitate discussions and provide resources that enrich our community.

Traditionally, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day on at the Library. Each year we invite you and our local partners to join us in honoring the tremendous life and accomplishments of Dr. King. It is also an opportunity to address racial inequities and become a more compassionate and inclusive community.

While we can’t gather in person this year, we hope you’ll join us virtually on MLK Day and beyond as we expand our focus on diversity. 

Two Grants Fund Hotspots, iPads, and Diverse Books

A tween girl uses an iPad during a children's program.

A tween girl uses an iPad during a children's program.

We are pleased to share that the Library is the recipient of two grants to support access to digital resources in Monroe County. The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department has awarded the Library a Digital Equity Grant of $10,500, and the Wahl Family Charitable Trust has gifted the Library $5,300.

“Providing equitable access to information is one of the Library’s most important goals and is reflective of our core mission to provide opportunities to read, learn, connect and create,” said Grier Carson, Associate Director. “One of the greatest challenges posed by the current public health crisis is our inability to reach each and every Library patron when physical access to the Library carries with it a number of health considerations. These grants will help us improve upon that.”

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