MRCPL in the snow

Winter time at the the downtown library

In a typical year, the Mansfield Richland County Public Library (MRCPL) hosts close to ten thousand in-person programs for children, teens, and adults. Once it became apparent that 2020 was not going to be a typical year, library staff worked hard to figure out how to continue to provide quality programs and services to the Richland County community.

Throughout all of the uncertainty, MRCPL remained a constant for many in 2020. Though they were closed for a short time, they reopened with fresh ideas, new offerings, and plenty of books for everyone!

From curbside service and take-home craft kits to Facebook groups and Zoom craft nights, the library has something for everyone to do from the comfort of their own home.

“We are pleased to offer many of our programs virtually as it allows library staff to continue serving our community in a safe and responsible manner.” Library Director Chris May said. “To be able to offer story times, game nights, and craft programs online show the ingenuity and dedication of our staff.”

The Children’s Staff has created story time videos that come with a packet of crafts, rhymes, and additional reading resources that help with early literacy and reading comprehension skills. Parents can also pick up “Program in a Bag” kits filled with specially curated crafts and activities. 

Teens can take a break from screen time and get creative with a DIY Craft Kit or Cubees! All kits and Cubees can be picked up at any location using curbside service.  

For adults, MRCPL is offering a virtual trivia night, board game night, and craft night. Library staff is also hosting two Facebook groups: a virtual book discussion group and an online knit/crochet group in order to continue the creative and constructive conversations that are missing without the typical in-person programs.

After a few months of providing virtual programs, it was easy for MRCPL to figure out how to host their annual Winter Reading Program through current building closures. Now through January 30, there are three different virtual or no-contact options for community members of all ages to enter to win a prize:

  1. For each book read throughout the month of January, fill out an online ticket form.

  2. Enter the weekly Winter Reading Program contests on Tuesdays on the MRCPL Facebook page.

  3. Utilize the curbside service option at any of the nine locations, each pickup is an entry.

The Winter Reading Program is a scaled-back version of the very popular Summer Reading Program. There will be weekly prize drawings for children, teens and adults throughout the program as well as a separate social media giveaway each week.  

In addition to virtual programs and events, MRCPL Librarians curate book lists for anyone looking for their next good read. A list of highly anticipated new book releases is issued four times a year and was just curated for the first part of 2021. A print copy can be picked up through curbside service or you can download the digital copy from their website.

MRCPL Customized Selections

"Customized Selections" allows customers to fill out a questionnaire and receive hand-picked book recommendations.

MRCPL is still offering the Customized Selections service to any library card holder. With this service, customers fill out a questionnaire through the MRCPL website or they can call their local library location and answer the questions over the phone. Library staff will then handpick a stack of up to 25 books, CDs, DVDs, BluRays and video games that will be placed on hold based on the customer’s personal interests!

The Mansfield Richland County Public Library strives to offer consistent services, materials and resources for Richland County residents, according to May.

“We are continually working to create more innovative programming and we hope everyone continues to enjoy these offerings!”

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