With so many updates from the village, county, state, and federal level, one thing is for sure – change is certain. This is probably the third version of this column I’ve written in the last two days. Just in case everything I’m writing about in this column changes again by the time it’s published next Thursday, for perspective, it’s Friday, March 20, and I’m writing this alone in my office during regular business hours. In a word, it’s surreal.
Like all local businesses, and, well, everyone in general, we at the library are adapting to the new normal. On Monday, we closed and had staff report for duty to work on some special projects, but by the end of the week and a 75% workforce reduction, there’s just one of us cycling in each day to answer phones, empty the drop box, get some projects done, file paperwork, plan events, share relevant social media posts, etc.
While closed, many libraries are offering a range of limited services. Here, we chose to err on the side of caution and are NOT delivering holds in any way to people, regardless of circumstances. In my opinion, the risk is not worth the reward. The good news is, we already offered digital resources through Libby, Overdrive, Hoopla, and RB Digital. The better news is that the MidYork Library System makes it easy to sign up for those collections from the comfort of your home, and have just extended expiration dates on all library cards expiring in the next few weeks, AND has unblocked all accounts that prevented digital access until further notice. Due to the increase in usage of those collections, many donations for collection development have been made to expand these collections, including a generous donation made by your very own Friends of the Hamilton Public Library! Thanks, Friends!
As for your overdue physical items and holds, you can’t place holds on items through our website until further notice and all checkouts have been given extended due dates at least through March 31.
In other digital news, we’re looking to continue our programming in new, innovative ways, like offering Live (online) Guided Meditation, and Chair Yoga, that you can do from the comfort of your own homes, all with the same local instructors you have come to know and love (thanks, Do’an Prajna and Kriss Young of The Zen Den!). Oh, and our Events Coordinator just released information about Online Escape Rooms to help keep you busy.
Thank you for reading, and stay away from each other as best you can!