Otis Library August Newsletter

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OTIS LIBRARY                                                                                                                    AUGUST 15,  2020


The challenge is how to provide the most library services in the safest way.

We designed and prepared our Otis Library Curbside Service as the first step to safely reopen the library.  The curbside program began on May 26 and since we have received positive feedback, I am excited to announce that the Otis Library Curbside Service will continue through September 30, 2020.  Library patrons can place an order for curbside pickup by calling the library at 413-269-0109 or emailing us at kbort@otislibraryma.org. We will prepare your order and then schedule an appointment for you to come pick it up.  Starting July 20th, Interlibrary loan will be in effect meaning holds and requests from other libraries will be available.  We are proud to provide this library service to you.

Next, we reimagined our summer reading program to safely offer opportunities for our children to continue to read and learn. Kerry Bean, our children’s librarian, designed activities and reading experiences that children ages pre-K through 17 can complete virtually.  These reading and writing accomplishments can be reported back to the library and our librarians will reward our young readers with Brag Tags.  These are fun tags that can be attached to key chains, used in making bracelets or necklaces, or used in other fun creations to allow readers to “brag” about all they have read.  To enhance this program for young readers, we used our state aid and donations monies to provide free books in activity bags that the Town of Otis is providing through the Recreation Center.  On August 8th Sue Ebitz will kick off our Story Walk. Your family can walk the designated path to read and enjoy the story of Peter Rabbit.  Also coming in August, we will post the original story reading of Finding Home by   Sarah Mack, a local author and illustrator who tells the story of a dearly beloved dog, Yogi.  We will continue to add activities to our summer reading program as opportunities arise, so keep checking our Facebook page www.facebook.com\otislibrary or go to the library department on the town website www.townofotisma.com.

We are also continuing to provide the technology services that many patrons need.  Our Wi-Fi signal is available 24 hours daily – simply connect to the Otis Public Library network.  We have provided chairs and picnic benches on the property and the Congregational Church has generously offered library patrons the opportunity to work on the church green.  Wi-Fi wireless printing services are also available. Patrons can connect to the network, print, and we will put the documents on the curbside cart.  Visit our Facebook page where we will continue to post adult challenges so that you may have fun and also win prizes.  Additionally, we have posted some technology lessons.  This month, our patrons can learn the how to effectively use the CWMARS digital catalog app: LIBBY.

Finally, the Massachusetts Reopening plan developed by Governor Baker and his staff is currently introducing Phase Three.   Step one of this phase entertains the opening of the library for browsing opportunities with many restrictions.  The Otis Library cannot open under these restrictions without drastic alterations and changes. It is not feasible at this time to reduce attendance to 25% in the library (5 people including staff) with one way traffic, and six foot distancing.   Only two people would be able to use computers at a time with time limitations and barriers, and appointments would need to be made. All these adjustments will require serious study, assessment of need and time effectiveness, and additional cost.

It gives me great pleasure to share with you the challenges we have met to continue to provide library services during this time and to assure you that we will continually assess our programs for safety, service, and satisfaction of our patrons.