When the Bradford Area Public Library closed its doors last year for 10 weeks due to the pandemic, the staff missed the patrons as much as the patrons missed them.
Library staff shared some of their thoughts of changes created by the pandemic and updates at the 67 W. Washington St. facility in honor of National Librarian Day, which was observed Friday.
Taffy Meyer, a 27-year employee at the library and front desk supervisor, said the initial closure and one other shorter closure of the library required adjustments.
“But other than that, it’s been going good,” Meyer said of the library and its staff. “We’ve been getting more patrons coming in, and we’re still doing curbside (delivery) to anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable coming in.”
She noted the library doesn’t require patrons to set up appointments to visit.
“You’re welcome to just come in” during the hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
And while children can visit the library to pick out books, storytime sessions are still offered virtually at this time.
“At Easter time, we did have Michael Morton come in with his animals, but we did it by appointment so there wasn’t a big giant crowd all at once,” Meyer added. “We’re slowly getting back to normal and following all the protocol that the CDC recommends” with masking and social distancing.
“Things are going in the right direction,” Meyer commented. “We did have a pop-up book sale and we hope to have another one outside when the weather is nice. It seems to draw more of a crowd.”
She said the number of patrons who visit in-person continues to build slowly.
“I was very glad to see people, I missed our patrons and how they were doing,” Meyer admitted.
On another note, Meyer said the staff have all enjoyed working with the new executive director, Hannah Dewey, who took over the post in December, replacing former director Lacey Love.
Dewey said she has enjoyed working with the staff, as well.
“The staff are wonderful, but I’m still learning my way around,” Dewey remarked. “(For example) the heaters shut off over the weekend because of an electric outage, and they went back on with air conditioning, so it was very cold.”
That hiccup aside, she said the facility has welcomed patrons of all ages back in to enjoy the books and other amenities offered.
“Come on down (to the library) because a lot of people don’t realize we’re open,” Dewey added.
“And once we get (in-person) programs figured out for smaller groups we’ll probably do pre-signups.”
Debbie Deane, youth services librarian, said she is using a Teen Reading Lounge (TRL) grant funded by Pennsylvania Humanities Council to purchase a variety of books and other materials for students contained in a Digital Detox Box. The two-year grant provides the library with $8,000 each year to purchase the items.
“We realize that over the last year that students have been on their electronics non-stop,” Deane explained. “We decided to give (students) things that they can do that aren’t electronics. So we bought books and coloring books and journals and some self-care items.”
She said the students need to register for the Digital Detox Box materials online at the library’s website at bradfordlibrary.org before picking them up at the facility.
“That’s what we’re pushing now, and we’re getting ready for summer reading,” Deane added. “We have a lot of programs in the works for the TRL, but we’re fine-tuning that.”
As always, the library welcomes donations of funds, as well as items that include puzzles.
Dewey noted that a number of puzzles at the library, which are requested by patrons, were purchased during a recent book sale.
For more information, contact the library at (814) 362-6527.