READ ALL ABOUT: Library gears up to serve patrons in the New Year – The Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD – At the start of a New Year, reading more books is a common resolution. The Hancock County Public Library is here to help and is exploring new ways to serve the public while continuing to adapt to the realities of COVID-19.

“Obviously, there are some things we are still working on with COVID,” said library director Dave Gray. “The staff were wonderful and we have remained open throughout 2021.”

The biggest addition for the library this year will be the addition of a second vehicle for book deliveries, one that’s smaller than their flagship bookmobile. Gray said the addition of a car will make deliveries easier for people who can’t make it to the library but still want to receive books, especially those living in elderly communities.

Gray said the library is also working on resuming its programming, which has remained slightly below pre-pandemic attendance levels. As smaller in-person programs return to the library, a goal for 2022 is to bring back concerts and other shows that would draw up to 150 people to the library’s community rooms.

Foot traffic and material use statistics are about 85 to 90% of what they were before 2020, Gray said.

“We haven’t come back 100%, but we hope to get there,” he said. “… Traffic is not the only indicator of library service usage, but what we are trying to do is look at traffic, foot traffic, programming, library service usage, and so on. kind of stuff. What we’re seeing right now is that our foot traffic is pretty close to where it was before. “

Throughout the year, Hancock County Librarians will assess books, magazines, films and other materials to be acquired for the library collection. Many of these decisions are guided by librarians Cody Flood, for materials intended for adults, and Cathy Riley, for youth.

Flood said decisions about what to acquire for the adult collection are shared between staff members, who are each responsible for a different section. To decide what they need on the shelves, librarians monitor new releases from publishers, book reviews, and bestseller lists. They also respond to requests from library users.

If you are looking for a specific book that is not in the library’s collection, you can ask the library to acquire a copy. They can either purchase a copy or borrow one from another library through interlibrary loan programs.

“You can do it online through the website, or you can just come and talk to us,” he said.

A book that is not available in print may also be available through the library’s selection of electronic documents on the Hoopla and Overdrive services.

Riley said the library’s youth section has a similar process for acquiring books, monitoring interest and requests from young readers and their parents.

“We take a lot of feedback from kids on what they like,” she said.

The kids section, Riley said, tries to keep track of what topics kids are interested in reading about and add material that matches – they recently started subscribing to National Geographic magazine for this reason. They will also make sure to keep buying books in a series if the kids keep up.

If you are not sure what you would like to read next, the library can help you as well. NoveList software helps library workers find recommendations for books similar to anything a reader likes, and many will have their own recommendations as well. The “Your Next Great Read” page on the library’s website allows readers to select a librarian with similar tastes in books and complete a short survey on what they are looking for. A selection of recommendations will be put on hold for you.

A similar service is available for children’s books; parents can receive a stack of books suitable for the child’s age and interests. Librarians also have book lists like 100 Pre-Kindergarten Books for parents looking to read to young children.

“Come talk to us as librarians and we’ll help you put together a list of good books,” Flood said. “We love to help people find what they want to read. “

Resolution resources

Need help keeping your New Year’s Resolutions 2022? The Hancock County Public Library can help.

Library director Kitty Smock advised to visit and explore the “Learning & Crafts” area for helpful resources. For example, library patrons can rate Mango Languages ​​to take online courses in over 70 different languages.

With the Great Courses Library collection, you can audit online courses from some of the best teachers in their field. For students, live tutors and study tools are also available.

Another resource is, which can help clients prepare to obtain their driver’s license.

“For people who have made a New Year’s resolution to get organized, there is a ‘personal planning’ document in our ‘Legal Forms’ section that helps you put together all the information you need before consulting with a lawyer to create a will and plan your estate, ”Smock said.

Library users can also find tools such as a personal monthly budget spreadsheet, guides for creating a home inventory and listing your asset information, and for people whose resolution is to get out and about. see the world, “essential documents for the organized traveler”.

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