Emerging from pandemic, library looks to turn page

When we closed the library on March 15, 2020, we could not imagine how long it would be until we finally opened the doors again. Staff worked from home by recording storytime sessions with their own kids, creating recipes using cookbooks in our digital collection, and leaving chalk messages on the library's sidewalk.

A year later, our hours, services, and programs are still evolving. Even before the pandemic, libraries have always adapted to meet community needs and deliver resources in the best way possible. In the last year, we have seen our library extend far beyond the four walls of the building. Virtual program offerings for all ages now include take home crafts, book discussions and readings, and game nights. When patrons couldn't visit the library, we brought the library to them through curbside pickup (and still are!). Even Santa helped us deliver books by horse and carriage in December.

Looking ahead, we will celebrate National Library Week next month. Celebrated since 1958, it's a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians, and library workers for one week every April. When you visit the library April 5-April 11, you can pick up a coloring sheet or word search to take home. Share a kind word with your favorite staff member on April 6, a day devoted to celebrating library workers. Other activities that week include take home kits for toddlers to teens and a virtual technology program for adults. Advance registration is required at hinsdalelibrary.info/events. Follow us on social media @hinsdalelibrary to see more ways we're celebrating.

The week will end with exciting news! Starting Sunday, April 11, the library will add Sunday hours from 1pm-5pm. The library's book drop in Circle Drive will also be open seven days a week. We encourage you to continue returning items to the outdoor book drop each visit. More good news, our item quarantine has been reduced to 24-hours. Items stay on your account during that time, but remember, we went fines free last April! There is no charge for overdue items. Since we still need our items back, borrowing privileges will be suspended after an item is 21 days overdue. Automatic renewals also give you more time with an item. If there are no holds, you will receive a notification that your item has been automatically renewed.

This summer, we are also excited to explore options for increasing other services including outdoor programming. An update on that will be shared soon. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to meet you where you are.

Consolidated Local Election

This year, Election Day also falls during National Library Week. We encourage you to head to the polls on Tuesday, April 6 to vote in the local election. Four seats on the library board are being sought by five candidates.

- Molly Castor is the Marketing and Outreach Manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.