The Jones County Public Library has brought in new technology to enhance the library experience and encourage social distancing, while gearing up for activities coming up in February.
Library assistant Leigh Sloan said she’s excited about the changes and she’s excited for the activities planned for February. She said it will be much more than a month filled with love.
Sloan said they have new books to read and they’re all in one section. She said the new card catalog system can find those books, as well as the older books in the library. She said it is located at one of the tables guests will see as they walk in the door.
“Our new books are packing the shelves to the gills,” she said. “The new books give the library a new feel, giving people something new to read. We have people who devour books, so we needed new material. There’s nothing like a fresh, new book.”
The library assistant said they have a new self-checkout system in place. She said this is great for the library, because guests don’t have to wait for someone to check them out. She said they can scan their library card, put in their four digit pin number, scan their library books, print the receipt, and they are out of the door.
“We are trying to make sure everyone is safe. If our patrons don’t want to interact with anyone, they don’t have to now. It also brings us into the twenty-first century. Libraries aren’t as stuffy as they used to be,” she said.
Sloan said to get the four digit code, they can visit https://gapines.org/eg/ opac/home or stop by the desk so the staff can get one set up for them. She said they will need the code to use the self-checkout.
She said she has been trying to bring more technology to the table since the pandemic. She said the library has audio books and e-books offered through Hoopla and Libby.
“Hoopla will give you four checkouts per month, and they offer audio books, e-books, movies, and music,” Sloan said. “Libby will offer you audio books and e-books, and you’ll get to check out 10 at a time. Libby is good for the entire family to check out books.”
For the month of February, she said they will be doing a Find A Heart activity, where if someone finds a heart in the library, they receive a piece of candy. She said they also will hide golden tickets in books for guests to find. She said they will get a prize for finding a golden ticket.
“February is in the middle of winter, but with Valentine’s Day it’s a good time to be a part of your community. We can get you wrapped up in a good romance, so come in here and join us,” Sloan said.
Since February is also Black History Month and not just all about Valentine’s Day, the Jones County Public Library has a Words Have Power display setup. She said the display was set up to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and they plan to honor African American authors during the month.
“What you say has meaning and has meaning well beyond you being here. Martin Luther King Jr. passed away in 1968, and we are still talking about him,” the library assistant said. “We are still talking about his plan and his dream for the world. Elevate your vocabulary, because your words have power.”
Sloan said they will be doing Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day on Feb. 20, based on the television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She said it’s a great way to get to know people. She said she thinks it’s going to be her favorite thing they are doing in February because Feb. 20 is her birthday, so she can’t wait to see people at the library then.
“I feel like the isolation has increased our seclusion. Nobody is going outside and playing, and we definitely aren’t checking on our neighbors,” Sloan said. “Get to know your neighbors, and visit us here at the library.”