Check it Out: Looking back, looking forward to seeing you soon
By Virginia Roberts
Rhinelander District Library Director
National Library Week was held recently. Through its second pandemic, The Rhinelander District Library continues to provide services in ways it never has before. As RDL prepares to open the building doors once more, we’re thinking about the changes from the last year.
How many of you have learned how to download and read or listen to a book on your computer – or even your phone? Many of you already did; now more of you do! A grant from the Rhinelander Woman’s Club has helped our system, The Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS) purchase more of what you need.
Then, there is a great deal occurring online. There was much discussion on how to do this or that. First staff ventured out with storytime programming through meeting software. Businesses helped everyone get outside with a Story Stroll through downtown Rhinelander, ending this week! Thanks to the Rhinelander Community Foundation and the city, there will be one at Hodag Park soon. WXRP helped by posting clues to the Summer Reading Program Scavenger Hunt. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Bash, book clubs, Crafternoons, and cooking programs have met online.
But staff didn’t stop there. Curbside pickup began on a table – then two, then a multi-space-pickup box. In addition to reserving materials, you could suggest materials. And request your pickup time. Craft kits for adults are so popular, there are now several a month. The Annual Holiday Tea was Curbside. Teens can ask for a once-monthly subscription box filled with books and treats. The puzzle collection that started a few years ago now numbers almost 100. There are board and card games, children’s book bundles, DVD binge boxes – multiple movies with a theme – to check out. The ancient library phone system has taken a beating from constant use as a call center. More on that to come.
Once the building opens, Curbside will be available, but will need 24-hour-in-advance request. There will be a 30-minute limit on browsing or computer use. Programs will still be online or outside. Anyone under the age of 14 will need to be accompanied by an adult. And masks over your nose and mouth will be required inside the building regardless of vaccination status, please.
But that’s not all. There are fewer seats, and computers have moved. There’s additional shelving down the center of the library to help alleviate space for the growing collection. The DVDs have been moved. We will help you to find your own holds on the new self-serve hold shelves. And you will notice other changes, as well. But this is still your library. It will be familiar, but different. And we look forward to seeing you here soon.