Construction clears to allow easier access
By Robert Williams
From COVID-19 to highway 87 construction, the Frazee Library Link site has been too quiet and Library Link coordinator Eileen Mooney wants to encourage area residents to take advantage of the services offered, along with all the free media.
“June and July, nobody came and nobody wanted to come to this part of town,” said Mooney.
Patronage at the library has been a struggle since the pandemic.
“It was hard for libraries to come back after COVID, because it shut down so bad,” said Mooney. “We did do curbside pickup, but we only had a small handful of people that used that.”
Mooney has been working at the Link site since December and is looking for new ways to get information out about the library to more than just her core group of visitors—seniors and home school families.
“When people move here it’s hard to let people know in town what is available and there are a lot of people working from home,” she said. “One thing people don’t realize is if they sit in this parking lot they can have WiFi access for free if they need it.”
The Link site does provide unsecured, public WiFi, along with a free desktop station inside.
“We’ve had people come in and look for jobs on that station,” she said.
Even programs that have seen success in the past have been affected this summer, like storytime for kids.
“We tried to do storytime this summer and we had two people each time,” Mooney said.
Limited hours of operation have also contributed to a lack of traffic.
The physical Link site is open twice per week: Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 12:30-5:30 p.m.
The assortment of media offered has changed and the Link site has offerings from free DVD movies to graphic novels.
“We have a whole half of a shelf for graphic novels for the kids,” she said.
The library offers flexible checkout times of one week for DVDs, two weeks for magazines and three weeks for books and CDs.
Mooney also noted the switch to more digital offerings, as well.
“If you have a free library card, then you have access to hundreds of ebooks and audiobooks through your Kindle or phone,” she said.
The library system uses the free apps Hoopla and Libby, available for download from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Other services available are: curbside delivery; exterior book drop; printing; wireless printing (link sites); wireless hotspots; free newspapers; research assistance; technology assistance, scanning and monthly nursing home delivery.
The Link site is also part of bringing kid’s entertainment to town. Being a part of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library system supports acts like the Lalo’s Lunchbox puppet show, an interactive show for early elementary students focused on kindness and learning.
The Link site operates on donated funds only and needs local support to continue from patronage to monetary help. The library recently received a $100 donation in August from All-in-All to purchase a new book bin.
More information on the Link site can be found at www.LARL.org, by clicking on Locations>Link Sites.