Library Blog Archive

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Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!

Service Announcement

Library switches to only curbside service due to COVID-19

In light of recent case numbers of COVID-19 in our community, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will return to curbside service only next week through at least the middle of December.

“We hate to close our doors to the public, but at this time, it seems like the most responsible action we can take,” library director Janet Harris said. “We will happily reopen as soon as the local caseload drops to a safer level.”

“Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.”

Harris said the library worked in cooperation with the Muhlenberg County Health Department and the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives to make this decision, after Wednesday’s new restrictions were issued by the state. Libraries are classified as “professional services,” which are required to close to the public when possible and to ensure that no more than 33 percent of staff are present in the building at any time.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will offer curbside service by appointment on the following days/hours:

  • Monday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The library will be operating with reduced staffing capacities and will remain closed Friday-Sunday each day. No appointments will be scheduled during the lunch hour, 12-1 p.m., to allow staff time for their own break.

The library will also be closed next Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Curbside service will be available at the above listed hours at both Harbin Memorial and Central City libraries.

Appointments will be required to allow staff ample time to gather, clean and prepare items for pickup. The library requests at least 24 hours’ notice.

To place an order for curbside pickup, contact the library by phone at 270-338-4760. Staff will take your order at that time and schedule a pickup appointment at the time and location most convenient for you.

You may also use the library’s online catalog to place holds on items you would like to borrow. Library staff will contact you when the items are available, and you can schedule your pickup appointment at that time.

When you arrive for a curbside appointment pickup, park in the designated area of the library’s rear parking lot and call the number posted on the signs. Please stay in your vehicle. A library staff member will bring your items out and place them in your vehicle.

Although the library will be closed to in-person use and no public computer access will be available temporarily, Harris pointed out that the library does provide free high-speed Wi-Fi in the rear parking areas. Anyone needing to use the Internet for work or school purposes is encouraged to utilize this free service.

The library also has a small number of mobile hotspots available for checkout. These items will provide Internet service (depending on mobile signal strength) at the patron’s home or other location.

These items cannot be placed in the library book drop and should be returned to staff at curbside service.

All other returned items should be placed in one of the library’s book drops. Book drops are available in both the front and back of each library building, as well as at Stewart’s Foodliner in Beechmont.

Harris said the library had hoped to avoid making the decision to return to curbside service only, but library personnel are also keenly interested in making sure everyone stays safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said, “This decision is not one we take lightly. We know that people enjoy visiting their library, and we love having those visitors.

“We hope that, by temporarily switching to curbside service only, we will be able to continue to serve our community in the safest way possible for all our community members as well as our staff.”

For more information about curbside service at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries or to browse the online catalog, visit the library’s website at http://www.mcplib.org.

Know Your Library – Consumer Reports

Did you know that Muhlenberg County Public Libraries offers patrons a free way to check independent ratings and reviews for thousands of goods and services before making a purchase?
Consumer Reports is a highly acclaimed and trusted organization that helps customers make good purchasing decisions, and with your library card, you can access their offerings for free from the comfort of your own home.
With the holiday shopping season coming up, this is a great time to start checking out Consumer Reports for any of the purchases you may be considering!
The website has categories for all different types of goods and services, so there’s truly something for almost everyone. On Consumer Reports, you’ll find information and recommendations about appliances, electronics, kids’ items, home medical equipment and even cars.
Products featured on Consumer Reports have undergone independent testing and research. The Consumer Reports panel of researchers includes more than 140 experts at 63 different labs. After they test each item, they provide ratings, reviews and, where appropriate, recommendations for the best product to purchase in each category. They also take into consideration consumers’ opinions (collected via online survey) to make their recommendations for each product.
You can access Consumer Reports from our Online Resources page.
For more information on how to get started using Consumer Reports, you can watch our tutorial at https://youtu.be/nyr-8yuCQXA or give us a call at 270-338-4760!

Know Your Library – Ky. Libraries Unbound

Did you know that Muhlenberg County Public Libraries offers free access to ebooks, digital audiobooks and even some streaming videos, in addition to the physical items you’ll find in our libraries?

Through OverDrive/Kentucky Libraries Unbound, we provide access to more than 210,000 of these materials!

We partnered with other libraries across the state of Kentucky to provide these items to our state’s residents. All you need is a valid library card to sign in to the service and start looking for items.

The materials you access through Kentucky Libraries Unbound can be enjoyed for a limited time (usually 1-3 weeks, depending on the item) on your personal computer, tablet, phone or e-reader. When your time with the item expires, it will be automatically removed from your device and offered to the next person in line. You don’t need to do anything else, except find your next item to enjoy!

It’s easy to use Kentucky Libraries Unbound. If you’re looking for a specific item, you can search for it on our online catalog. You can use the filters in the left sidebar to narrow your search to only ebooks, audiobooks or digital video, according to your preferences.

If the items are currently available, you should see a “download” link. This will allow you to add the item to your device.

You may also see a “Place Hold” link. This means that all copies of the item are currently checked out. Even though the items are digital, we still only have a certain number of copies available, and each copy may only be used by one person at a time. However, just like with physical items in the library, you can add yourself to a waiting list. You’ll be notified when a copy is available, and you can download the item at that time.

If you don’t have a specific item in mind but would like to browse, you can visit https://kyunbound.overdrive.com/ to do so. Just sign in using your library card (make sure you select Muhlenberg County Public Libraries as your library first) and start browsing. You can narrow by “subjects” or “collections” using the menus at the top, and then you can further narrow the results by using the filters on the left side of the screen.

You can also download the Libby app to your tablet or phone to access our digital collection on those devices. Again, just sign in using your library card and begin browsing.

If you need more help getting started with OverDrive/Kentucky Libraries Unbound, you can try the help section on the webpage, or you can watch our video tutorial at https://youtu.be/7mXUGw86RNk or https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=583990175633794.

Happy reading!

Know Your Library: Mango Languages

Did you know that Muhlenberg County Public Libraries offers free access to Mango language-learning software?

Mango has easy-to-follow lessons for over 70 languages!

Mango focuses on conversational language, rather than simply teaching the user vocabulary words. Mango’s teaching style will prepare you to have a normal conversation with a native speaker of the language you choose to learn.

Languages offered include Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Mandarin and many more. You can even learn to speak Shakespearean English or Pirate, just for fun!

You will need a set of headphones or speakers to use Mango. The resource offers audio guides of words and sentences so you can learn to pronounce them correctly. A microphone is also helpful so you can utilize their voice comparison tool; you can repeat words or phrases and Mango will assess your pronunciation for you.

To get started using Mango, visit http://libraries.mangolanguages.com/muhlenberg/start. And for more information about how to use Mango, you can watch our video tutorial at https://youtu.be/ivTmIidZF44 or https://www.facebook.com/444364945485/videos/389954909073526!

Know Your Library: Curbside Service

Did you know … Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is currently offering curbside pickup service?

We are providing this service during the COVID-19 pandemic to help maintain social distancing and assist patrons who feel uncomfortable coming inside the library. In this way, we hope to continue to serve our community to the best of our ability even during these difficult times, all while following health and safety guidelines from local, state and federal officials.

Our curbside pickup service is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at both library branches. Appointments are required, and we request at least 24 hours’ notice so staff members have ample time to prepare items for pickup.

Pick-up appointments are available between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Patrons who wish to make a pickup appointment can contact the library at 270-338-4760 with a list of items they would like to borrow. You can also place holds for the items you want on our online catalog at www.mcplib.org; staff will contact you to schedule a pickup when those items are available.

Once a pickup order is received, our staff will collect the items from our shelves, ensure they have been thoroughly cleaned, and then seal the order inside a bag for additional protection. When you arrive at our library for your pickup, simply park in one of the designated spots in our rear parking area and call the number posted. A staff member will bring your order out and place it in your vehicle.

Our staff will wear face coverings and maintain as much distance as possible throughout this interaction to help protect both themselves and our valued community members.

All normal library circulation policies will still apply to those who wish to utilize this service.

If you prefer to use the library in a more traditional way instead of utilizing the curbside pickup service, we are also open to the public for walk-in service on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Face coverings must be worn inside the library at this time, and we ask that patrons who have been ill refrain from visiting the library. Sanitizer is provided at various locations throughout the library for public use, and staff are following enhanced cleaning measures to provide as much protection as possible.

We appreciate our community members’ patience and willingness to follow these guidelines to help keep our community safe.

For more information about the safety measures we have taken during this COVID-19 pandemic, please call us at 270-338-4760 or visit http://mcplib.org/covid-19-information.

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