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  • Pocono Mt Public Library

Looking back at a year of change...

It’s been one year since the library had to close in March, April and May because of the Covid-19 pandemic. When we look back at the scramble to obtain disinfecting supplies, masks, gloves and plexiglass, it’s amazing how quickly everything had to change and how unstable the situation was.

On June 15, 2020, we opened with curbside services and then with limited browsing and computers by appointment in mid-July. We tried to do as much as possible in 2020, and we made a lot of changes for the better!

Last year, PMPL decided to officially be a FINE FREE library. We started waiving over-due fines on all materials because of the spring Covid closure and it was so popular that we decided to stay fine free. There are no daily overdue charges anymore, and all past overdue fines were deleted. The only charges come from damages to items or if patrons never return an item.

The library now uses AUTO-RENEWAL for items that are checked out from PMPL. We know people are busy, so we’ve taken the guess work out of using the library. PMPL books get automatically renewed two times. Patrons get a courtesy notice by email for items that are automatically renewed, and also when those items need to be returned.

The first two pages of printing are FREE. Lots of people come in and need to print paystubs, school assignments, essential documents, and personal business. We noticed that usually people are printing only one or two pages, so we decided to make those first two pages no cost to our patrons. It may only save fifty-cents, but it’s a convenience that many people appreciated during 2020 when everyone was pinching pennies.

We provide CURBSIDE PICKUP for print-outs. Just CALL AHEAD and we’ll help get the documents by email. Patrons then call when they get to the library so we can bring the prints to the car. We get all the arrangements sorted out over the phone. It’s quick and easy! Patrons love the convenience.

We provide the same exact CURBSIDE service for patrons who want to request books or movies over the phone and let us bring them to the car. We provide a lot of convenient services over the phone!

The library received a large number of books last year from people who were cleaning out their houses. We have two book carts with FREE BOOKS on our porch or right inside the main doors if the weather is bad. People really love the free best-selling fiction books. There are also a lot of free kid’s books!

PMPL has one of the few official Little Free Libraries in Monroe County. This is a world-wide phenomenon that’s finally on top of the mountain. The Little Free Library (or LFL) has a small selection of books for all ages. Give a book & take a book! That’s the motto. It’s available right at our parking lot 24/7 for everyone’s reading needs.

We now have a YouTube channel and are adding new content every month.

We have free crafts and activities to go for all ages. Just call the library staff and ask about our Go Bags.

We used grants from the Monroe County Bar Foundation and CARES Act to purchase 30 new Chromebooks that we’ll circulate to patrons. There’s been a back-log to obtain Chromebooks, and ours are arriving next week. We’ll also be starting up with circulating Tmobile hot spots to help patrons get access to the internet!

It seems like 2020 would never end, and we did the best we could to make serious changes and provide safe services for the public. Our services were certainly diminished from a normal year, but this is what we did in 2020:

*10,391 items checked out.

*6,134 pre-pandemic visits to the library.

*441 visits June – December by appointment only.

*618 curbside pick-ups for library books and DVDs.

*1,193 computer uses, and over 400 times we helped people use computers even with social distancing!

*306 times people printed by emailing documents.

*2,694 times patron used our online collections of ebooks and eaudiobooks.

*971 times people viewed our YouTube channel videos.

*241 free craft and activity “Go Bags”.

*59 programs using Zoom.


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