West Liberty Public Library provides resources while closed

West Liberty Public Library Director Allie Paarsmith reading aloud online.

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–Just because residents cannot visit the West Liberty Public Library in person does not mean they cannot enjoy many of its resources. Library staff has provided many online opportunities and continues to work behind the scenes to ensure the library will have even more to offer when the public returns.

Though the West Liberty Public Library suspended its curbside pickup program, people may still check out a wide variety of e-books and other online materials through the library’s website. “What we’re really pushing is our online resources,” asserted Jacob Lane, who does information and technology as well as marketing work for the West Liberty Public Library. By visiting their website, community members may access Bridges e-books, magazines, and audio books, Credo Reference and Gale databases, brainfuse test preparation, Chilton Manuals for vehicle repair information, and others.

To keep the community engaged even with in person programming suspended, The West Liberty Public Library continues to put out programming online. To keep people of all ages reading, the library has shared out a bingo card on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. To play, patrons read books to fulfill specific challenges and mark them off on their bingo card. When the library reopens to the public, they will get raffle entries for the squares they completed. Additionally, Library Director Allie Paarsmith posts live readings daily from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” As an added bonus, library staff shares out many fun literacy links throughout the day for people to peruse at their leisure.

Lane finds people enjoy the library’s online offerings. “Our response from the public has been positive–many of our posts and activities have been shared among the people of West Liberty.”

Though in person gatherings may not occur for some time, the West Liberty Public Library has begun preparing the library for them with a variety of improvements. “We’ve taken advantage of being closed by moving shelving, tables, and entire collections of books,” reported Lane: We’re also redoing the game room. This has opened up the top floor, allowing for more free space and tables.” Along with this reorganization, West Liberty Public Library staff moved the virtual reality machine out of the Betty Akers’ Creative Space, making more room for creative tools, such as a sewing machine, puzzles, a Cricut, craft supplies, and even a microfilm machine.

During the Library’s closure, Lane encourages anyone who needs assistance with online resources to call them at 319-627-2084 between 10 a. m. and 5 p. m. Monday through Thursday and 2 p. m. and 5 p. m. Friday and Saturday. To find out information about when the Library will return to in person programming, Lane encourages everyone to watch the library’s website and social media. “Believe me, when we can open up back to the public, we’ll raise a ruckus about it,” emphasized Lane: “We miss our patrons and we want them back in the library. The West Liberty Public Library is paid for by the people and wants to be open to those same people as soon as authorities on COVID-19 say that it’s safe.”