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Beatrice Public Library remains educational, entertainment resource for community during COVID

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

For Beatrice residents, escaping into different worlds and viewpoints, or accessing resources to learn more about this world, are all in one easily accessible location at 100 N 16th Street.

The library has offered a variety of online and in-person events this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a fully online summer reading program that was expanded for all age groups, children’s storytimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30a. m. , the StoryWalk at Riverside Park, book sales, the Makerspace, monthly book discussions, and art exhibits in the Vette Cultural Arts Center.

Kids look at a mirror creatively turned into a door for Beatrice Public Library’s Vette Cultural Arts Center installation in June as part of the 2020 national summer reading program theme “Imagine Your Story”, which was modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Beatrice residents, escaping into different worlds and viewpoints, or accessing resources to learn more about this world, are all in one easily accessible location at 100 N 16th Street. While Beatrice Public Library’s doors were closed for roughly two months this spring due to COVID-19, many of its services were still available and used by the community. Youth services librarian and interim director Joanne Neemann said that library is still offering curbside and delivery of physical materials for those not wanting to enter the building.

So our younger crowd is starting to use the Libby app and Overdrive. ”The library also offers music through Freegal Music, foreign language education through Mango Languages, magazines through RBdigital and online newspapers through Newsbank. “We have all kinds of online things that many [people] would never have tried out or would even have thought of the library having, because they didn’t need it,” the previous library director, Laureen Riedesel, said.

She said that it’s common for people to first come to the library wanting a picture book for themselves or a family member, and then realizing all of the other programs and resources that are offered. “It just opened up a whole world of opportunity to them, starting out with that initial little need, which is what pulled them into the library service in the first place, not realizing that it really is a cradle-to-grave service,” Riedesel said. In recent months, the library has offered a variety of online and in-person events that allow for social distancing, including a fully online summer reading program that was expanded for all age groups, children’s storytimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30a. m. , the StoryWalk at Riverside Park, book sales, the Makerspace, monthly book discussions, and art exhibits in the Vette Cultural Arts Center.

COVID precautions at the library include having patrons and staff wear masks, social distanced seating options and disinfecting down books and areas between uses. Neemann said events through the end of the year include a Christmas take-home craft, a holiday traditions display in the Arts Center, and monthly seed library programs with the Gage County Extension Office. “I feel that Beatrice is very lucky to have the patrons we have…But I am hopeful that we can go back to normal, and slowly put out the blocks, the puzzles and the dress up clothes and puppets,” Neemann said.

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