Best of the Library 2020

So many of this year’s special moments and triumphs were made possible in collaboration with you, our supporters. Here’s our crack at the Best Of the Library for this unconventional time:

  • Adding mobile internet hotspots and laptop computers for checkout
This time of restricted gathering has shown us gaps that had not been obvious before. Since this spring there has been a steady number of people placing holds to use the laptops and wireless internet hotspots we have available for checkout, desperate to do their taxes, check their email, or pay their bills.  One man needed to take a certification test for his apprenticeship. The test was online, but he didn’t have a computer or internet. The Library offered the only way he could access this critical service and we were grateful we could be there to help.
  • Hosting a successful outdoor Summer Reading program

Every year we helped young people keep their minds active over break with our Summer Reading program. We adapted this year and held all programs outside, coordinating with the free lunch program so kids could get books, activities, and a healthy meal all in one place. Because of educational disruptions this year, it was especially important to boost kids’ reading skills to ensure their future success in school.

  • Increasing the amount of e-resources and publications

We were able to expand our digital services during the shutdown with new resources. Patrons can watch movies, read books, read newspapers and magazines, learn a new skill, conduct research and listen to music from home, all with their library card.

  • Creating an impressive array of new virtual programs

From online Book Clubs to special spooky Halloween workshops to trivia nights to our first virtual civil discourse gathering of SymBozium, the Library has been busy getting people together and making sure new ideas keep spreading.

  • Assembling take-home craft bags for adults and kids

Every month our creative staff has pulled together activities and supplies for everyone from preschoolers to teenagers to adults. In a time when coming up with something to do feels like a burden and going out to get what you need feels like an adventure, the Library is there to make it easy and fun!

  • Working with schools and social service agencies to get free books and Library info to underserved kids

Reading unlocks so much in this world, both in practical terms and in the joy of the imagination. We partnered with local schools and social service agencies to distribute over 1,000 free books to kids.

This has been a difficult, disorienting year. We’ve all been affected in some way—physically, economically or emotionally. Throughout it all, your Library has remained a place of civility, calm and stability. We are honored to be the community hub on which so many in the Gallatin Valley rely.

Here’s hoping that our Best Of list for 2021 is even more inspiring!