COVID-19 has disrupted the way libraries serve their communities. Since early March, libraries across the United States shuttered their doors and transferred as many services as possible to an online modality or curbside services. The import of these actions should not be understated, but moving services online or offering curbside services is not enough.
For years, libraries have stated we are more than books and computers and public programming. COVID-19 has provided the opportunity for libraries to showcase how innovative and crucial we are to the communities we serve. Now, more than ever, libraries need to explore opportunities, engage with community partners, and understand community needs in order to help keep our communities safe and healthy.
Participants will hear how one Montana library has looked beyond the norm to help its health and medical partners, small business partners, and elected officials navigate this pandemic.
Original broadcast August 26, 2020
Presenter: Gavin J. Woltjer
Gavin J. Woltjer is the Library Director for the Billings (MT) Public Library. When not held hostage in a good book, he enjoys exploring the wilds of Montana with his wife, Rena, and their three children. His research interests include: data analytics; library leadership; economic development and libraries; archives and record management; and, librarian as public historian.