Way Library

File photo. Way Public Library.

PERRYSBURG — In the library world, public service is the top priority. When it became not only advisable but life-saving to close the doors at Way Public Library, it sent a shockwave through the staff.

After all, Way Library’s mission is to “connect you to the community and to the world.” Classes, storytimes and programs which had been planned for months were canceled. Popular one-on-one technology assistance sessions were no longer safe. Public computers were powered off. 3D printing labs were shuttered. And day-to-day personal interactions between staff and patrons were no longer possible.

Normal operations were history.

Library service was not.

Way staff members went to work immediately — at home — identifying and putting into practice new ways to deliver as many library services as possible to the community.

Here are some of the things they are accomplishing:

-Boosting Wi-Fi accessibility to cover half of the library’s parking lot

-Increasing inventories of digital resources, including books, reference materials, study helps, learning opportunities, music, movies, TV series, and other digital resources available at www.digital.waylibrary.info

-Providing storytime sessions for babies, toddlers and preschoolers

-Providing Dial-A-Story service for children who want to listen to a new story each week over the phone

-Starting online book discussion groups

-Producing YouTube instructional technology videos to help people learn to use the library’s best online resources

-One-on-One technology assistance via phone

-Online versions of popular library events, such as PuzzlePalooza

-Digital Nanowrimo writing camp for teens

-Lego STEM building challenges for kids to complete at home

-Digital Escape Rooms for children

-Online crafting sessions with instructions provided

-Online cookie decorating class

-Online yoga

-Keeping a journal of Perrysburg life during the pandemic for the Local History collection

-Ongoing staff availability for answering questions and providing assistance via phone, social media, and the Ask-A-Librarian email service

-A Coloring Page project to give children an opportunity to thank our community helpers during COVID-19

-The use of the library’s 3D printers to produce and donate face shields for healthcare professionals

“From Stay-at-Home to Way at Home” is a new section on the library’s website where much of this new content will be aggregated as it is created.

In addition to producing the online content noted here, Way staff members have also undertaken computer projects at home in all departments.

As Way library continues to find innovative ways to “connect you to the community and to the world,” the best way to stay up to date and take advantage of digital programming and resources is by visiting the always-open website at waylibrary.info and following the library on social media.

The staff, working remotely, is available via phone at 419-874-3135 (leave a voicemail message), via Ask-A-Librarian on the website, and via Facebook Messenger.