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National Library Week encourages use of digital services

Posted at 11:21 AM, Apr 21, 2020

HELENA — It’s National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Find the Library at Your Place.”

While library branches across the country are closed to the public for COVID-19, people are being encouraged to find the library in their own home.

The Lewis and Clark Library is encouraging people this week to use the Library's digital services like downloading an eBook or audiobook, streaming a show or taking part in their virtual Harry Potter escape room.

The library’s services have drastically changed over the years to meet the needs of its patrons.

“Our services are adapting as the community’s needs change and adapt,” said Public Information Officer Patricia Spencer. “Really, we are more of an online society, and maybe that’s what’s made this transition to sheltering in place easier for some people is because we already had the technology. It’s also made it more frustrating for people because now they have to rely on more technology.”

Spencer says the COVID-19 closure has also helped the library identify ways they can better serve people who may have a difficult time physically visiting a branch.

“We’re hoping for positive takeaways from all this. How can we learn to better serve our patrons and make mobile service more available? How can we better serve those people that don’t have access to transportation and get materials to them?” said Spencer.

One unforeseen benefit of the library closure is construction crews have been able to make significant strides in the remodel of the main branch. Once it is safe for the Library to reopen, they still plan on moving to their temporary “Capital Branch” at 1609 11th Avenue.

More information about the digital services provided by the Lewis and Clark Library can be found here.