PGTPL Provides Valuable Services During COVID-19 Spike
Even with the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Hendricks County, the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library remains open and offers valuable library services for the community. Services may be limited to the lobby and upstairs computer lab, but library staff is happy and eager to assist patrons and guests.
“We continue to serve our community, but in a different way,” says Library Director, Montie Manning. “As COVID cases continue to rise, we developed an action plan that would allow us to keep providing some degree of service even if staffing numbers were to be negatively affected by the pandemic.” On Wednesday, December 9th, Hendricks County turned red on the Indiana COVID-19 dashboard. Red represents the highest alert status for county COVID levels.
Helpful Services & Resources
As of Monday, November 30, PGTPL is offering quick and friendly Lobby Services. New materials for children, teens, and adults are available in the lobby to browse and checkout. Cardholders can also browse the entire collection online, place holds using the online catalog, and pick up their items after receiving a notification!
A public computer lab on the second floor is available for anyone to use; a library card is not required. There are express stations for quick printing, as well as one-hour stations for tasks requiring more time. Printing, scanning, and copying services are still available, as well as readers’ advisory. The library’s public Wi-Fi, PPLPUBLIC, has been extended to reach the parking lot for those who want to park and connect with their own devices.
The online library is always 100% open thanks to digital resources! “There are tons of resources that are always available from home, which is especially helpful for our patrons right now,” says Cataloging & Collections Manager, Mary Glaser. “The library has streaming and downloadable music, movies, television shows, eBook and eAudiobooks, digital magazines, and even databases to assist with smart shopping and investment strategy!” Be sure to check out the newly added eResources tab in the Evergreen online catalog or visit the library website at plainfieldlibrary.net/digital-resources.
Several of PGTPL’s popular programs, for a variety of ages, are now available virtually. Discover and enjoy programs on the library’s Facebook page and on the library YouTube channels; Plainfield Library [IN] Online, PGTPL Teen Central, and PGTPL Children’s Room. In the coming months, the library will be adding exciting new programs hosted on emerging platforms like Twitch and Discord. Anyone is welcome to join virtually for programs from the comforts of their own home!
Adapting to Serve
“Adapting to serve the needs of the public is what libraries do best,” says Youth Services Manager, Kristal Hellmann. “I think we’re doing a phenomenal job, considering how much change has happened, and continues to happen, this year.” Ever-popular Collection Kits are available for children in a variety of themes such as animals, drawing, dinosaurs, magic, cooking, or anything else patrons request. PGTPL offers a variety of virtual services and materials for children of all ages, from databases to eBooks. Take & Make Kits are available in the lobby for kids (preschool through teen) to grab and go and complete at home. These simple activities or crafts are fun favorites from in-person programs previously offered and change out frequently, so there may be a new kit each visit!
“We are excited that we have a virtual space for Teen Central via a Discord server,” says Teen Central Supervisor, Lauren Weddle. “This summer, we set up a server that would connect teens in grades 6-12 with the library in a new way. Here, they can see library news, view program videos, ask questions about library services and account information, and connect with teens they would normally see in the library after school.” In addition to providing a welcoming online space, Teen Central staff are creating Take & Make kits filled with crafts that teens can pick up in the lobby. As an added bonus, book boxes that are filled with goodies like library swag, snacks, activities, and a book are being given away each month to three lucky teens. Teen Central staff enjoys adding new avenues of connection between books, library services, and our teen patrons this year.
The Indiana Room staff continues to offer local history and genealogy services to those researching their family or local and state interests. “We always expect the unexpected when it comes to genealogy, so we look forward to assisting our patrons with their research, however that looks!” says Indiana Room Manager, Reann Poray. “Many of our online resources are available from home, and we’ll happily do what we can to help bridge the gap of in-person visits.”
In addition to the variety of services offered, library staff are looking for creative ways to further brighten patron spirits. “Adult services worked this past week to make the lobby look festive and provide some takeaway DIY holiday ornaments for patrons,” says Adult Services Manager, Jill Costill. “One of the ornaments is a Swedish woven heart that we filled with candies for kids!”
Although normalities of everyday life are changing, you can always count on the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library to adapt and readily serve the community by being the place to connect, learn, discover, and enjoy!