What’s that old saying? “Give the people what they want.”
Well, what they want is their Kenosha Library.
And that’s what they’re getting.
Starting Tuesday, the local public library resources doubled when the Northside Library — my “home” library, not that I’m playing favorites — opened for curbside pickups, joining its Southside sister library.
Since reopening for curbside service on April 24, library staffers have been busy filling requests from folks eager to get more books, DVDs, games and other materials.
Opening the Northside Library is “one more notch on the dial toward fully reopening,” said Brandi Cummings, the library’s communications specialist.
A fun service they’ve been offering during the COVID-19 shutdown is “KPL to Go.”
“Patrons can tell us what they like to read or a subject of interest, and we’ll fill a bag with 10 items we would recommend,” said Barbara Brattin, director of the Kenosha County Library System.
Because a lot of the most popular books, movies, music, etc., are already checked out, these “go” bags contain interesting finds from the back of the stacks.
“The service has been a great success,” Cummings said. “I have filled a few bags myself, and it has been really fun getting to dig into the collection to find gems for people to take home.”
Kits for kids
A new addition to the “KPL to Go” family is “KPL Kids to Go.”
“It includes the supplies needed to create programs right at home,” Cummings said.
Families need to register on the library’s website for a children’s kit, and for the first week’s kits, “our registration and waitlist filled up in less than 10 minutes,” Cummings said.
Each box comes with instructions, a list of supplies and a list of needed materials. KPL Kids to Go and KPL Teens to Go Boxes are designed for one user. KPL Family Night Boxes are designed for a family of four. Themes and supply information can be found on the registration page.
Each week, kits are provided for ages 0-5, 5-12 and 12-19, plus Family Night kits.
Note: Registration is required and opens one week before pickup. KPL Kids to Go Boxes can be picked up at the Southwest Library. Sign up on the www.mykpl.info website’s events calendar page or call 262-564-6150. Note: Boxes not picked up by 2 p.m. Saturday will be made available for those on the waiting list.
More to come
“People have been excited to have access to material again and some are anxious to get into our doors — since we are so much more than books,” Cummings said. “It’s great to be so needed during this time.”
People in the community, she said, “rely on us to bridge the digital divide — a problem still very prevalent in the Kenosha community. We are working to turn our outreach vehicles into mobile hot spots, allowing us to drive into communities and provide a few hours of free Wi-Fi for residents who come to the Wi-Fi stops.”
Before opening the library doors to the public for full access, Cummings, said, they have to consider that the library not only “sends merchandise out, like retail, but we also bring it back in and then lend it out again.”
“The library is in a unique position where our in-house resources like our computers, meeting rooms, copiers, scanners, Digital Media Lab and Post Production Studio are all shared resources,” she said. “We take the safety of our staff and community very seriously, and so we need to continue monitoring and coming up with the safest solutions for everyone.”
Until then, we’ll keep checking out library books and DVDs and waiting for the day we can get back inside, wander among the stacks, listen to the sounds of kids laughing along to a program and ask the librarian for help in finding that elusive copy of “Longmire: Season 6.” Seriously, I’ve had that on hold for weeks. If you’ve got it at home, please return it!
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