WILLIAMSBURG — National Library Week is April 4-10, and Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) is celebrating by putting the spotlight on some of its most popular collections and services.
The annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association, is an opportunity for libraries across the country to highlight the valuable they bring to their communities. This year WRL is celebrating a different aspect of what makes this library special throughout the week, with particular emphasis on offerings that challenge the notion that a library is just a building where you can go to get books.
The festivities kick off on Monday, April 5 with a general announcement about National Library Week and the beginning of a social media contest that asks users to “tell us you love WRL without telling us you love WRL.” Based on the popular meme format, this prompt encourages people to go beyond merely stating their love for the library and get creative with how they express that sentiment either in words or visually. Users can post their responses in the comments of WRL’s social media posts about the contest and will be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift card to a local business.
Tuesday’s focus is on Looking for a Good Book and Quick Picks, two readers advisory services that match library users with titles they are likely to enjoy based on their past reading preferences. Looking for a Good Book allows patrons to fill out a form that gathers information on their favorite authors, genres, and the general tone they enjoy in a book, and then after a short turn-around time they are provided with a librarian-curated list of recommended reads for them to browse and check out at their convenience. Quick Picks is a slightly updated version of that service that was introduced when the library temporarily closed earlier this year — the basic premise is the same, but this service simplifies things with a shorter form and then takes it one step further by checking out the recommended items to the user in question and making them available for curbside pickup.
On Wednesday, WRL will be highlighting its Mobile Library Services (MLS) department and the new Bookmobile in particular. This state-of-the-art vehicle, which made its community debut in mid-March, brings the library’s collections, programs, and services out of the buildings and into the community. MLS makes stops at adult care communities, preschools, daycare facilities, recreation centers, and neighborhoods all over Williamsburg and James City County.
Thursday is dedicated to celebrating a group of individuals who enhance the library’s offerings in innumerable ways: the Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation. The Friends raise funds and provide volunteers that allow WRL to go the extra mile in meeting and anticipating the needs of the community. They also run the popular library Book Nooks, where shoppers can purchase gently used books, DVDs, CDs, and more at bargain prices.
The week concludes with a spotlight on WRL’s digital resources on Friday. These collections include ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, downloadable and streaming music, streaming movies and television shows, digital magazines, and dozens of databases, study aids, and research tools. The library’s already-robust digital offerings have been expanded significantly over the past year, and they provided a lifeline to many locals in the worst days of quarantining.
“Our buildings remain a vital community hub, but this National Library Week we wanted to place the emphasis on the ways that WRL far exceeds their boundaries,” said WRL director Betsy Fowler. “From our online offerings, to our library vehicles, to the boundless creativity and energy of our staff and Friends, we’re so much more than just a place where you can check out books.”
Editor’s Note: This story is brought to you by WYDaily courtesy of Williamsburg Regional Library.