For Berlin Borough’s local library, the shift in services wrought by COVID-19 have motivated staffers to move even more into the 21st century than they already have with regard to the library’s vast resources and materials.
The Marie Fleche Memorial Library recently launched its own YouTube channel as a way to reach its younger audience as capacity restrictions and general apprehension about in-person events continue to influence programs.
“We were motivated in starting a YouTube channel in order to provide a substitution for our younger children who would normally participate in our weekly story-hour program,” said Betty Velie, who’s in charge of technology and publicity for the library.
“Craft activities are also demonstrated and typically linked with the story theme. We wanted to give them a connection to the library and some continuity.”
The YouTube channel is relatively new, with nearly 20 videos that mostly include story readings and a few arts and crafts activities. Moving forward, Velie said the library plans to offer plenty of seasonal activities and crafts, as well as how-to-videos on subjects that may be requested by residents.
While videos are posted on the YouTube channel, patrons will also be linked to the library’s website at www.berlinborolibrary.org each time a new video is posted, according to Velie.
The library has offered more online and virtual content in recent years, but the YouTube channel helps to further its reach into the digital world.
“The virtual and online capabilities had been on our website already, where you can access a few virtual features such as e-books, our online catalog to access a database of all our materials and links to various state database research tools,” Velie noted.
“During COVID, we’ve also added a link to things to do that includes virtual tours of museums, aquariums and other interests to help keep our patrons entertained.”
The library is still open for in-person visitors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All material taken home by patrons is quarantined for three days after its return to ensure safety for others. The library’s computers, printers and fax machines are available by appointment.
“Operating during COVID has been somewhat challenging, as the safety of our staff and patrons is paramount,” Velie noted. “Opening the library has been extremely rewarding to our patrons and others that require services our library offers. These services include the use of our computers, making copies and faxes that are areas of significant need to people in our community.”
For more information on the library’s current procedures or operations, visit its website at www.berlinborolibrary.org.