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Crazy times call for some crazy services

MIFFLINTOWN — 2020 was extraordinarily challenging. Like every other business and organization, the Juniata County Library (JCL) had to change almost everything about the way we deliver service because of the pandemic.

When we had to close in March, it was a difficult — and painful — decision. County residents of all ages rely on JCL for books and so much more. We are a vital resource for students and their parents, a provider of critical high-speed internet access for many people and a lifeline for job seekers and entrepreneurs. Our early childhood programming is crucial to young families looking to have their little one’s life start with books and learning.

Our organization quickly came together to adapt our service model and reopen JCL safely to the public in June. I am proud, but not surprised. Rising to the occasion is what we do best.

Whenever the waters get rough, our ability to adapt to the needs of our community not only keeps us afloat, it takes us to new heights. In extraordinary times, you can count on us to offer extraordinary service.

I hope you are aware that while our building is not yet open to the public, you can access much of what we have to offer. You can still borrow materials and now get three weeks instead of two weeks to keep them. We have 25 mobile hotspots so that you can take the internet with you. Our youth programming is available to watch on-demand. Give us a call or message us online and there is always a real live human being there to assist you.

In a time of change, we strive to be a comforting place of consistency. You can continue to rely on us to be here — and to adjust our services to meet your changing needs. As your needs change, we change.

The library in 2020: by the numbers

¯ 42,302 views and interactions with our virtual programming and content.

¯ 36,008 total checkouts of library materials.

¯ 11,704 total library cards in our system, with 270 new library cards issued in 2020.

¯ 10,702 digital book checkouts (eBook and eAudio), a 41% increase from 2019.

¯ 2,016 new items added to our collections.

¯ 25 mobile hotspots you can borrow that let you take Wi-Fi with you, along with five Chromebooks that give you full-screen access to the internet. These devices were used 104 times in 2020.

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Vince Giordano has been the director of the Juniata County Library since 2015. Donate to the library today! It takes less than a minute. Visit our website or write to us. This is an excerpt of our weekly Library Champion newsletter sent out each week. Be a library champion and get all of the latest library news, staff book reviews, and more right in your email inbox. You can read a sample of it and subscribe on our website.

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