What’s happening at Carnegie Library?

By Sarah Nichols - Carnegie Public Library Director

During the COVID-19 outbreak, what IS happening at Carnegie Public Library? To take the highest amount of precaution, and out of concern for our patrons, our staff, their families, and the Fayette County community in general, the libraries in Washington Court House and Jeffersonville closed at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 16 until at least April 6.

Although the doors are locked, books sit stagnant on the shelves, and public computer work stations are vacant, the library remains active, responsive, and continues to provide patrons and community members with accurate information, and virtual reading and entertainment options. Carnegie Library continues to offer e-books, online databases, online library card registration, help from our Guiding Ohio Online “Tech Tutor,” assistance to our county’s “Little Free Libraries,” and even original content through our social media outlets.

Looking for a good book to read? Is your ‘to-be-read’ pile just not quite right? The Ohio Digital Library (ODL), our consortium for e-books, and digital audio and video, has more than 440,000 copies of more than 179,000 individual titles. Of these, Carnegie Public Library patrons digitally borrowed more than 20,000 items in 2019! With recent closings and quarantines, more folks are “staying in to check out!” Because of this, the number of borrowed items has surged. The State Library of Ohio is committed to meet this increased demand by buying even more copies of popular titles during this period of closure and quarantine. Books for all ages and interests are searchable by topic, collection, author, title, or reading level. There is something for everyone!

Need homework help or assistance with a project? The library has a host of free, high quality resources at your fingertips at www.clpwcho.org. From our site you can access HeritageQuest family history search, Chilton Library auto repair database, Lynda.com for personal and professional learning, and World Book Encyclopedias for all ages, to name just a few. Additionally, Ancestry.com, previously restricted to in library use only, announced this week they are offering free remote access, through April, to library card holders. Now is a great time to start your family tree, brush up on work skills, or explore topics that interest you or your little ones!

Don’t have a library card? Immediately following our closing announcement on Monday, library staff began work to create online library card registration. Go to www.cplwcho.org/ecard, and complete the form. Library staff will email you a library card number and PIN. E-Resource cards never expire, and are valid for online circulation only. After the library reopens, if you wish to borrow physical materials as well, please bring in a photo i.d. to gain additional borrowing privileges. If you already have a library card, you have access to all of the above-mentioned services. If you are not sure of your PIN, or have lost your card, please submit a query through the “Contact Us” option on the library’s web site.

Are you new to using e-books and online databases? The library’s Guiding Ohio Online Tech Tutor is still available to answer your questions! Message us on Facebook, the library’s website, or email [email protected], and she will get back with you as soon as possible.

If you are active in the world of social media, you have seen the explosion of original content from authors, actors, musicians, and artists, as well as local leaders and community members! What an amazing response during these trying times. Carnegie Public Library staff are passionate about tech, literacy, reading, and life! If you aren’t following us on Facebook, please do so. Not only are our staff sharing some of these awesome initiatives, they are creating them too! Are your little ones missing library storytime? Look on the library’s Facebook page for videos of our staff reading their favorite books from home!

Finally, if you manage a “Little Free Library” and are in need of books, the library is here to help. Let us know what you need, where you are, and how to contact you. We’ll make arrangements to get your little library re-stocked in no time.

Our doors may be closed, but we are “here” to help! Our online resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Information about all of our resources can be found on the Library’s website, www.cplwcho.org, or by calling the Washington Court House Library at 740-335-2540. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @cplwcho.

By Sarah Nichols

Carnegie Public Library Director