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Boyle County Public Library: Reimagining its services 

In cooperation with state and local efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Boyle County Public Library is currently closed to the public. However, the website and other online resources are always open, and library staff are working hard to provide and improve library services. 

To better serve the community, the library’s Wi-Fi access points are being improved so Wi-Fi will be freely available in the parking lots. Currently library staff are working on creating Digital Library Cards for residents who don’t currently have library cards. This service will give more people access to a number of online library resources that are typically only available to card holders, such as Overdrive and Hoopla. Those interested should check the library’s website or social media for the upcoming announcement of when the digital cards will be available in the next week. The library is transitioning to offering online programming people can experience in their own homes. It is now offering a virtual “Storytime with Libby” every Tuesday at 10 a.m. which is shared on the library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Each weekly storytime segment will be released as a YouTube premiere so viewers can watch and experience storytime with Ms. Libby together. Following the premiere, the videos will be available on the library’s YouTube channel for future viewings. 

“The virtual storytimes began last week when [Children’s Librarian] Libby [McWhorter] hosted a storytime live on Facebook that has currently been viewed over 6,000 times, with several viewers commenting how they were watching at home,” says Youth Services Librarian Kinsey Hisle. “We were inspired by the viewers and are working on creating other online programming to reach more patrons, including book clubs and gaming events, which we hope to start in the coming week.” 

These online programs and additional resources are being shared on the library’s social media pages, which are welcoming more followers every day. The library has four Facebook pages to follow based on individual interests: the main Boyle County Public Library page, Boyle County Public Library Children’s Programming page, Boyle County Public Library Genealogy & Local History page and Boyle County Public Library Bookmobile page. Each day, the library engages with followers via social media sharing what the library is doing to support the community, information resources, plus interactive posts to promote engagement and positivity. Facebook users who visit the library’s pages will find posts on activities and information shared from local, state, and national organizations. The library will continue to expand the content on their social media pages as a way to digitally reach out and interact with the community while in- person interactions are limited. 

In addition to social media, the library is expanding the content on its website to offer additional resources, focusing on the library’s mission to “connect people to information and technologies.” The Online Resources page on the library’s website now includes additional educational resources, including virtual museum tours, live streams, and digital escape rooms. The additional resources don’t require a library card, and will provide hours of fun, educational entertainment for all ages. Access to these links can be found at boylepublib.org/online-resources. The website also offers the resources needed to stay updated on the COVID-19 virus. View this information at boylepublib.org/boyle-county-public-library-and-covid-19. 

Library staff are also actively answering requests and information, cleaning and organizing the building so it can safely reopen in the future, and working on collections development. Professional development is also key for library staff as they use this as an opportunity to complete online trainings on a wide variety of topics and attend virtual meetings with other libraries. The library is also reaching out to our community partners to ask what their challenges are so it can help meet community needs.

Anyone needing assistance accessing the online resources may contact the library via email at library@boylepublib.org or via Facebook Messenger at facebook.com/boylepublib.