As most of you know, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Midlothian Public Library is closed until further notice. Here are some reminders and some new information about how we are serving you during our closure:
Due dates on physical materials have been extended through May 1. The library will not charge or bill for overdue fines during our closure. Patrons are requested to not return materials the book drop, as it is locked to prevent overflow.
A wide variety of eBooks and other electronic resources are available for checkout during the closure by going to the library website, www.midlothianlibrary.org, and clicking DIGITAL LIBRARY and then E-MEDIA. All resources are free, but some require a library card and/or PIN number, and some require a password. Those that require passwords will have the password on the resource page.
To use online resources, residents may now sign up online for a digital library card. To get started, go to the library website, click CATALOG, then SEARCH, then SIGN UP. Also, current library cards will no longer expire, and library cards that have expired since January 1, 2017 have been made active with no expiration date. Those whose cards expired prior to 2017 may sign up for a new digital card. Also, many library cards blocked due to the accumulation of $10 or more in fines or other charges are now unblocked; the library has temporarily raised the block limit to $100. Individuals who have forgotten their PIN number can re-set it by visiting the library website, clicking, CATALOG, SEARCH, LOGIN, then "Forgot my PIN.”
Free WiFi is available from the library parking lot. For social distancing, the library is requiring that WiFi users do so from inside vehicles only. We are grateful to Midlothian Police Department for patrolling our parking lot during the closure. If they report to the library administration that individuals are not following this directive to remain in their cars, the library may be forced to turn off the WiFi for the sake of public safety.
The library will also offer some programs online. Young children and caregivers can tune in on Fridays at 10:00 AM on Facebook Live for storytime. Teens can play Dungeons and Dragons, supervised by library staff, on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM at https://discordapp.com/invite/f982FHR. Thursdays at 6:30 PM on Facebook Live, the library will host "How-To in a Box," a series where library staff demonstrate everything from cooking, to crafts to technology. Adults are also invited to “Book Talks,” a weekly opportunity to chat about books Mondays at 6:30 PM on Zoom via the link, https://zoom.us/j/716484652, via the free Zoom app using the Meeting ID 716 484 652, or by phone at 1-312-626-6799, using the same Meeting ID.
Anyone wishing to sign up for email updates from the library may do so by going to the library website and clicking “Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter.” Additionally, the library will be posting updates regarding library services during closure on its new COVID-19 Closure Resources page at bit.ly/MidloLibCOVID19.
Questions may be directed to me at the email address below my signature.
Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director