How to Make the 24/7 the Library Work
Public libraries in American continue to serve their communities in fundamental ways, expanding beyond their stereotypical scope as “book repositories” to offer so much more. From offering education and test prep for children and adults alike to hosting outreach programs that feed the hungry and provide support for people facing domestic violence and substance abuse, libraries meet the public in a variety of contexts and configurations throughout each week. The presence of a global pandemic in the form of COVID-19 has increased the complexity of delivering these services as library staff follows pandemic best practices to reduce the spread of the virus and visitor count is lowered. What avenues, then, do libraries have to turn to continue to meet the public in a time when meeting someone in public is potentially dangerous without sacrificing the services they offer?
One such solution, or rather a suite of solutions, is those offered by Bibliotheca. Bibliotheca has been offering library solutions to connect with their users, engage with their communities, and evolve their services using modern approaches and technological integration. The myriad of services they offer range from library user self-service solutions, item return and sorting support, security and protection for library materials, cloud-based collection services, their open+ access designed specifically for libraries wishing to offer more flexible, more impactful operation hours, and staff tools such as central administration, staff workplace, and inventory solutions. Alone or in combination with each other, these tools give libraries the ability to operate in new, technologically-reinforced ways that free up staff and budgets to allow for more and more responsive programming and services.