Pandemic Provides Creative Opportunities For Library System As MBCPL Completely Reopens To The Public | Newspaper

MARTINSBURG – The Martinsburg – Berkeley County Public Library System is taking some of the adaptations and lessons learned during the pandemic and incorporating them into their regular offerings as officials fully reopen to the public and prepare to begin offering their events in nobody once again.

According to MBCPL director Gretchen Fry, although the library system remained open to the public throughout the closures and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the services offered have been adapted to remote contact services and minimum, effectively closing the pleasure of browsing and enjoying the ambience of public libraries for several months.

“We were able to stay open for most of the pandemic and during that time, as soon as we could, we reopened where possible and continued to provide services virtually and with minimal contact,” said Fry. “We lost some of our in-person services, but we did our best to accommodate people who were willing to come back in and take advantage of our services as best they could, as well as serve those who hesitated. coming to the library… so now that we are able to fully reopen and resume offering many of our old programs soon, we are very excited.

While navigating the pandemic and its ever-changing guidelines created stress for the library leadership, it also provided the opportunity for creative adaptations and workarounds to ensure that citizens could still access all of them. the programs, materials and resources provided by the library, Fry said, as well as created the opportunity for the system to do much-needed building maintenance on its various buildings while citizens were not allowed to enter.

Fry said several changes have been made, with plans to continue them in the “post-pandemic period,” to meet people where they can throughout 2020, including: curbside pickup services for those who need materials but don’t feel comfortable getting into drive-thru services at some libraries and an increase in virtual programs and the library system’s overall online presence.

Another adaptation caused Fry to say the library plans to continue working with Berkeley County Public Schools at the start of the pandemic, in which students can now purchase public library books and audiobooks on their devices. provided by the school using the Sora Overdrive app.

According to Fry, the general public also has access to the MBCPL digital collection through Overdrive’s Libby app, to which new material is regularly added, and customers can sign up to get an instant digital card to start trading. use the app immediately.

So far, Fry said more than 1,800 people have signed up for the virtual library card and said she is excited to see how the system’s virtual offerings continue to grow.

“The last year has been a struggle, but it has given us a lot of growth opportunities, which is always nice,” said Fry. “But things are getting back to normal and we are very happy to see more and more faces in our libraries. “

Fry said demand for the system’s passport services picks up once again; meeting rooms are now accessible to the public; the system offers outdoor and virtual programs with plans to start offering indoor programs starting in the fall; and, although the fee was waived in the past year, late payment fines will again apply to documents checked out as of July 1.

In addition to restarting old programs and keeping some of their offerings tailored, Fry said the library system’s summer reading program, for all ages, will start today and added that all attendees can follow along. their progress using paper journals that can be retrieved from any library or on the “Bean Stalk” phone app.

Those who complete the challenge can enter to win a number of great prizes, including: American Girl Doll of the Year, a Legos Kit for participating kids, and a Nintendo Switch lite for participating teens.

Keeping up with the pace of events in person, Fry added that the Martinsburg Library is excited to host a reptile encounter for families in the area today, Saturday June 5 at 2 p.m. ET.

For more information on the MBCPL system as well as upcoming events, visit

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About Jennifer Schuman

Jennifer Schuman

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