Book-a-Librarian remains one-on-one as library program moves online

Sno-Isle Libraries has tweaked its Book-a-Librarian program to meet social distancing guidelines. 

It’s another way that Sno-Isle Libraries is finding creative ways to provide digital access to its customers while community libraries remain closed during coronavirus precautions. 

Sno-Isle Libraries has offered Book-a-Librarian for eight years. Sessions are designed to meet the specific requests of individual Sno-Isle Libraries customers. A library staff member gives full attention to customers who need assistance on a wide range of topics.  

Technical help includes creating a personal email account, searching the internet, browsing the Sno-Isle Libraries catalog, downloading e-books and audiobooks, using Sno-Isle Libraries electronic databases and research resources, or other computer basics. 

Nontechnical help includes personalized help with a research project or helping customers discover new books and authors that match their tastes and interests. 

The digital version of Book-a-Librarian will also help customers with online genealogy research and small-business planning. 

The personalized help with Book-a-Librarian isn’t changing, but face-to-face meetings will go away for now. 

“To create a safe environment for staff and the public, we need to continue practicing safe social distancing for the foreseeable future,” said Lakewood-Smokey Point Library Manager Kaley Costello. “So that we can continue serving our customers, we will offer to host virtual Book-a-Librarian sessions either over the phone or via video calls with screen-sharing capabilities, such as Zoom.” 

When making a new Book-a-Librarian request online, Sno-Isle Libraries will collect the customer’s email address or phone number to set up the meeting, learn what help the customer needs, and the customer’s preferred community library. 

If a Sno-Isle Libraries staff member with expertise in a customer’s area of interest is unavailable at their preferred community library, Sno-Isle Libraries will find a staff member in another community library to help. 

“Community looks a bit different now, but we’re so excited to be able to find a way that balances safety for everyone and delivering top-notch service,” Costello said. 

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