What’s happening at the Library?

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, October 29, 2022

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By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Since February 2011, over 500 “What’s happening at the Library” columns about Library programs, presenters, policies, books, book sales, summer reading programs, concerts, movies, outreach services, gardening classes, local authors and artists, and that ain’t all! have appeared in the Winchester Sun. Programs are the high-impact mega-fauna of Library news. Big attractions.

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Yet what’s best about the Clark County Public Library happens every day, quietly, unnoticed.

Everyday Clark County Public Library circulation, reference, adult, and youth staff engage and assist patrons as friends and important acquaintances who need anything from party recipes to government documents to a little conversation while their digital device or subscription is tuned.

Patrons of all ages chat with circulation librarians who, over the years, came to know those patrons and appreciate their tastes and borrowing habits. They look for books and movies together and share a story or two.

Clark County Public Library reference librarians help residents with electronic gadgetry, online library resources, seed library resources, movie actor references, near 1500 different inquiries a month. Reference librarians establish relationships with local history and genealogy researchers from around the country, and friendships and research collaborations that last years have grown between CCPL reference librarians and patrons, in person, over the phone, or through the internet.

Eight librarians order books, movies, music, and periodicals. Each orders material for different sections of the Library, and in consultation with each other, they make sure the widest variety of topics and subjects are ordered, so the collection meets the needs of all Clark County citizens. Those book orders are supplemented by patron requests bought from book distributors.

Or books are borrowed from other libraries. At the same time, Clark County’s extensive collection makes it one of the most borrowed-from libraries in Kentucky. That in itself is a full-time job.

There are over 100,000 items in the stacks, and most of them (except for horizon-spanning sections of James Patterson and Wanda Brunstadter novels there’s yin-yang) would be irretrievable but for CCPL catalogers meticulously receiving and filing each one of them, allowing patrons to search for “just the thing.”

No place in Clark County offers a wider variety or access to education and entertainment materials, free, again all because of the Library’s staff.

CCPL librarians think up, design, facilitate, promote, and present programs and displays for all age groups, from toddlers to seniors, and for all interests; they collaborate with local individuals and organizations to facilitate events.

Children who visit the Library skip up to the circulation desk excited about books they will read and delighted by a craft they made at an art program or story hour because CCPL’s Youth librarians share their joy and excitement and encourage them to read, learn, and come back often.

All that, and umpty-million other instances of delight, insight, surprise, and gratification that filled up 500 library columns, happen because Clark County’s Librarians work together and with patrons and visitors as friends. They are a wonderful group of people.

Based on available astronomical information, they’re the best crew of librarians in the solar system.

Bravo kids. You do great work. Go long.