Michigan Library Appreciation Month Focuses on Keeping Communities Connected

October is Michigan Library Appreciation Month and the Loutit District Library (LDL) is helping to highlight the valuable ways in which libraries and library staff across the state have been keeping communities connected to resources and content that informs, entertains, and enlightens. Throughout October, LDL staff will highlight how their services helped patrons retain a crucial sense of connection, throughout a challenging year of social distancing.

While Loutit District Library’s physical spaces were limited due to COVID-19, patrons were still able to connect and explore a variety of digital content, from ebooks, audiobooks, movies, games, and more–including virtual storytimes and events hosted via Zoom–all from home. Now that we’re open again, October would be an ideal month for all community members to start discovering the wide array of services and resources available to cardholders. Don’t have a library card? It’s easy to sign up. Visit our circulation desk, or contact us with any questions at 616-850-6900 or at loutit@loutitlibrary.org.

Throughout October, Loutit District Library invites patrons to share their experiences of how the library kept them connected during quarantine. We’re encouraging our patrons and all Michiganders to show their appreciation and support for our libraries and all the amazing people who work in them! Follow LDL on social media, and then share a post about the library services you appreciate most of all–using the hashtag #MILibraryMonth and #LoveMILibraries.

In times of crisis, libraries and library staff play a critical role in continuing to support their communities. All throughout the pandemic, libraries of all types continued making a difference in people’s lives by providing access to digital resources and virtual programs, which was something their communities needed more than ever at that time. When “stay-at-home” orders were in place, the first priority of library staff was figuring out how to continue to serve their patrons safely, from curbside pickup services providing materials and eventually fun/creative take and make craft activities, to providing online card sign-ups and virtual storytimes.

Now that our doors are open again, our shelves can be browsed in person, reading recommendations and reference answers can be provided face-to-face, public computers are available, and patrons can join a library event in person. But any new cardholder can continue accessing online resources, 24/7, where they have the ability to stream movies and music; find trusted health information and community resources; learn a new language or take up a new craft, brush up on job skills, get homework help, and so much more.

Whether a user remains online or ventures back inside the library, all of these services are free! The connections can continue to happen, at home, on the go, or now, finally, in person!

Michigan Library Appreciation month is a statewide observance sponsored by the Michigan Library Association (MLA) and libraries of all types across the state each October.