National Library Week 2021's theme is "Welcome to Your Library". However 2020, and probably the next few months of 2021, have seen many of our doors shut to our communities and libraries across the country have had to reimagine what being open means.
The San Jose Public Library took this in stride by offering express check-outs curbside at our branch locations and increasing our online presence and resources. Nevertheless, these efforts alone couldn't reach some of the members of our community due to the digital divide that exists not only in rural America but in cities like our own. These are issues that we knew existed and had been working on remedying prior to the pandemic. While 2020 gave us many challenges, it also gave us many opportunities and it speed up the process of addressing the issue of ensuring that the pockets of our community that did not have access to internet and technology were given those resources.
Early on in the pandemic, our Maker[Space]Ship parked as we, like many other libraries, tried to figure out how to safely offer services to our patrons. That, I can happily say, did not last, as we realized our Maker[Space]Ship could be utilized to assist in our efforts to bridge the digital divide. The Maker[Space]ship has been on the road offering hotspot checkouts as part of SJ Access, going to neighborhood locations that have been serving families and individuals in need during this pandemic.
We have realized that while we can't have you come to our libraries like you have in the past as the pandemic is still on-going, and we value your safety, that doesn't change our commitment to being a resource for information. The library is not just our buildings...it's about how we can share resources, information, and programs with our patrons. You are the life's blood and the focus of everything we do, so wherever you are that's where we want to be.
"Welcome to Your Library"