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THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT COLUMN: Same library, new features

If it’s been a while since you’ve been inside the Public Library, you aren’t alone.

After being closed to the public for nearly a month, our “open” signs have recently returned, and so have our services.

Sara Hahn

While many areas of the library look the same as you remember them, some of our practices have been updated to ensure the safest interaction between the library, and you, our community.

When you look beyond the plexiglass, you will notice that the strong connection between our staff and our patrons can still exist with social-distancing, and we’ve made changes to accommodate you more efficiently.

These modifications include increased item limits to let you borrow more, and additional renewal periods to allow you to keep the items in your possession longer.

We hope that by putting more items, like magazines, books and movies, in the hands of the reader, we can help alleviate the stress of having to make more trips into town to renew or restock that library bag.

In addition to our in-person services, we are also here to help you get set up with our virtual collection through the Libby app.

With your library card, PIN and device, you can browse and borrow our entire online collection of full-color magazines, ebooks, audiobooks and more.

If you’re a lover of large-print, you can adjust the text size on your screen, and in the evening when your eyes need a break, change your background tone to a sepia or inverted white-on-black display for more of a “night-mode” feel.

When you search for our library in the app to access your account, be sure to notice both the adult and children’s collections which are listed separately.

For the Young Adult and Adult collections, you’ll want to add “Einc – Stanly County Public Library,” but if you have younger readers or want to indulge in a bit of nostalgic reading of your childhood favorites, add “NC Digital Kids – Stanly County Public Library” as well.

You can toggle back and forth between collections as needed and borrow and download an item on wifi which will save your cellular data while listening or reading on the go.

The crowd-favorite feature: automatic returns. With the digital collection, there’s no need to worry with due dates, orange juice spills, or the dreaded case of the stuck audiobook disc. It’s all digital, and it’s all free.

While, as a society, we are maneuvering getting back into the public, as a staff it’s our goal to provide excellent customer service as we continue to be a vital part of our local community, helping you reach your goals of literacy, learning, and leisure.

While you’re here, be sure to visit the Children’s area of the Albemarle library to see their “Quaran-read” display full of recreated quarantine-themed book covers for some punny literary creativity that is sure to make your mask bend in a smile.

Let us know how we can serve you, and stay tuned for information about our Virtual Summer Reading Program for Children and Teens.

Currently Reading: “You Are Not Alone” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Picture Book Highlight: “The Thank You Letter” by Jane Cabrera.

Sara Hahn is the Children and Youth Services Librarian of the Stanly County Public Library in Albemarle. Her column, “The Library Lookout,” is published monthly in The Stanly News & Press. Email shahn@stanlycountylibrary.org or call the Albemarle Library at 704-986-3758.