In the midst of a pandemic and moving locations, Three Rivers Public Library staff continued to work diligently to provide the community with access to information and entertainment during their first year in downtown Three Rivers. At a recent board meeting Library Director Bobbi Schoon presented the library’s annual report, outlining highlights from the past year’s efforts.
According to Schoon, the library provided over $970,000 of value through the materials and services utilized by residents. Schoon shared some of the positive feedback staff has received from community members, including what she called “an overwhelmingly positive response to the move.”
A desire to offer the best space possible to residents led staff to fundraising and grant writing, which they did successfully according to Schoon, allowing the library to facilitate new spaces that will be easier to keep clean, a priority for the staff.
In addition to grants for furniture, the library was awarded a competitive national grant from American Library Association. The grant helped fund a coordinated effort with *culture is not optional and the George Washington Carver Center to facilitate community conversations about topics important to this area. Another grant allowed the expansion of the audio section with Playaways, devices that allow users to listen to audio books without the need of a CD player. The grants totaled over $23,000 and added furniture, programming, and materials to the library’s offerings.
While the library had to adjust how they served the community to keep safety in mind during the pandemic, it still offered the community over 200 programs, most of which were virtual or outdoors. “We try to offer programming for all ages and interests”, Schoon said, with programs ranging from educational to entertaining with new offerings on a regular basis.
“I am so proud of our team,” Schoon said, “we had to pivot a lot in the last year but we kept our focus on what we do — we serve our friends and neighbors. We provide access to information and entertainment through materials and resources.”
Schoon encourages everyone to check out the library, if they haven’t already. Library cards are available for residents of the City of Three Rivers and the Townships of Fabius and Lockport without a fee. Residents of other areas can get cards for $50/individual (up to 2 cards) or $75/household. Stop in the library at 88 N. Main St. for more information!