Changes made due to pandemic at Kenton Co. libraries still available to public

Changes made due to pandemic at Kenton Co. libraries still available to public
Updated: Jan. 17, 2021 at 2:53 PM EST
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KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -After reopening at 50% capacity in Dec., the executive director for Kenton County Library states that the changes that were made at libraries in Kenton County due to the pandemic are still available to the public.

“How are people using the library? They’re using it differently, a lot more electronically with E-books and E-audio books. A lot more people are using drive-through windows. We’re very fortunate that when we built our buildings and remodeled buildings, we could install drive through windows. We provided access to those windows even during the shutdown,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder stressed the importance of drive-through access at the library.

“Drive-through has allowed people to go through, put things on hold, or to make phone calls for materials, and we put them on hold for them. When you go to the catalog, you can select Erlanger, for instance, as your pickup location, and then you can hold your library card up at the window, and you’re on your way,” Schroeder adds.

According to Schroeder, in the last year, print circulation was down about 13%, but E-book circulation was up 18%.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenton County Libraries have been limited on what they could provide in terms of in-house programming since March, but Schroeder is encouraged by online strategies to serve their patrons.

“We’re reaching a much broader audience doing online programming with options like story time, yoga, cooking and how-to-craft sessions,” Schroeder adds.

Kenton County Libraries continue to make their computers available by providing a resource, for example, where people can apply for unemployment and benefits.

In addition, one key component is the opportunity people have to make appointments for notaries. Schroeder notes that people can call one of their libraries to make an appointment and then visit the library to get documents notarized.

Workforce development is a big driver through library resources, as well. Schroeder said their libraries have a working agreement with a local career center and the state of Kentucky to serve as an official access point.

“We offer a full suite of classes both online and prerecorded or live on how to use Office, career skills and interviewing skills,” Schroeder said.

Kenton County Libraries are working with community agencies in the medical field and the Spanish speaking population, as well.

“With the Esperanza Latino Center, we put together a bilingual kit and in the box is a couple of books that are bilingual. There’s also information on how to use the library and how to use resources. We also partner with St. Elizabeth Hospital and they put health information in that kit, as well,” Schroeder notes.

Some of the other familiar outreach programs include the delivery of books to nursing homes and materials for daycare centers.

Overall, Kenton County Libraries continue to work with libraries throughout Northern Kentucky meeting twice a month throughout the pandemic. Schroeder also praises the guidance from the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

“I think what the pandemic has really done for us, and you know, there’s not much positive we can say about the pandemic, let’s face it. One of the things it has done for libraries is that it has made us think of things differently. It’s made us think, how do we reach patrons? If they’re not coming into the building as much, they’re still our patrons, and we still need to serve them,” Schroeder said.

The three locations of the Kenton County Public Library are:

  • Covington Branch: 502 Scott Boulevard, Covington, KY 41011
  • Erlanger Branch: 401 Kenton Lands Road, Erlanger, KY 41018
  • William E. Durr Branch: 1992 Walton-Nicholson Road, Independence, KY 41051

Hours of operation:

  • 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Closed Sunday for ‘heavy cleaning purposes’ according to Schroeder.

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