Let me start by sending a huge, loud, and heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all our library moms! Mother’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate you and all the things you do for your family, and trust me when I say, you do a lot for your family! So, use today as a great excuse to take that extra-long bath (bubbles are a plus), eat the cake, stay in your pj’s all day, and enjoy the half frozen waffles your kids will probably serve you for breakfast. More importantly, give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back from us!

Now, let’s talk about what’s happening at the library. As you know, due to COVID-19, the library closed its doors in March. Since that day, our staff started working from home, answering your phone calls and emails, updating our social media pages with valuable information and really cool resources (did you see the video of the guy rapping Dr. Seuss books), and developing future programs. This past week, in various shifts, our staff started reporting to the library.

Our doors and book drop are still closed and plans for our reopening will be announced soon. However, when our doors open again, we wanted to make sure you and your family were walking into a safe space. I know, for me personally when I walk into the grocery store, I usually stand there and think twice about which banana bunch to grab (did someone else touch it first?). Maybe it’s just me being overly dramatic, but the reality of COVID-19 is you cannot be too cautious.  With that mindset, a safe space for you and your family to enjoy is imperative.

This week, the staff have started a massive cleaning project. Our wonderful custodian, Danette had already been working on extra deep cleaning around the building and we started helping to clean everything. And when I say everything, I mean, EVERY single thing! If anyone has ever wondered what Cinderella’s life was like, cleaning the way she did before her Fairy Godmother showed up, I’m sure our staff could give you a narrative that fits right along with her story! Magical pumpkins and fancy glass slippers not included.

Staff members were assigned areas to clean and off they went! For example, one of my areas to clean was the audiobooks. I took every single audiobook off the shelf, cleaned all the shelves, from the top to the bottom, cleaned every audiobook, and placed them back on the shelf for you to discover. Each staff has completed the same process with their individual sections.  Now, when you return an item, our Circulation department ALWAYS cleans it before it goes back on the shelf. But with COVID-19, we weren’t taking any chances!

When our doors open again and you join us, know that every single thing, be it a book, a DVD, an audiobook, in both the Adult collection and in our Young People’s Department has been taken off the shelf and cleaned! A member of our staff has physically touched every single thing you see on our shelves to clean it and that was a gigantic undertaking. Anyone want to take a guess on how many items we cleaned this week? Yeah, neither do we! I will say it was a LOT and it became apparent that Cinderella was a lot younger than I am because oh my back!

When it comes to the health and safety of our community, we knew it was imperious for us to do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19. We also knew how important it was for us to put your mind at ease and ensure you knew we had taken these extra steps because you do mean so much to us!

During this time, we also encourage you to continue to use our digital services. Libby, Hoopla, RB Digital, Cloud library, Mango languages, our very own Community Archive, and more are available on our website. If you need a library card or Kansas State e-card, shoot us an email at jclibrary@jclib.org or leave a voicemail at 785-238-4311. During COVID-19, we are issuing these cards over the phone and through email so you can gain access to these valuable resources. We know you love holding a physical book and I can promise you that, soon, you can! But, right now, keep on clicking and using these awesome resources!

Over the next several weeks, as our community starts to open doors to our favorite restaurants and shops, gyms and our beloved library, things may look a little differently. Maybe the will have limited hours or only allow so many people in the building at once. Perhaps they will have handwashing stations and continue to ask that you stand six feet apart. Even with all the changes, one thing is for sure, we are truly all in this together. See you soon!

Five things to try these this week!

1.  Don’t forget to tell your mother Happy Mother’s Day!

2. Thank an essential worker.

3. Check out Hoopla (free dance party with their music downloads)

4. Start your family history search with our Community Archive

5. “Like” us on Facebook for up to date information

DONNA PORTER  is the Assistant Director at the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library.

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