Pandemic Buddy

The Library is keeping you connected to work and school, to information about the pandemic, to entertainment (yes, please!) and most importantly, to each other. Our doors are open, whether you walk in, drive through or log on.

This project has raised

$7,539

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Project Completed

Pledge Incentives


$15.00 Level

14 Supporters

Your $15 donation gets us rolling and gets you 15 minutes of fame with a shout out on our Facebook page.


$25.00 Level

12 Supporters

Your donation of $25 will purchase a new book for the library collection with a personalized bookplate. Just think of it -- people will be "checking you out" for years to come.


$50.00 Level

11 Supporters

Your $50 donation can support downloads of movies, e-books and audiobooks, because like so many people, you do everything on your phone.


$100.00 Level

3 Supporters

Your generous donation of $100 can fund 100 Library Takeout Kits. These fun grab bags for kids and adults have everything you need to create a craft at home. We'll send you a car window cling so you can tell the world (or at least your fellow motorists) that you Love the Library!

Project Overview

You have the power to escape the pandemic -- even for a little while. It’s in the palm of your hand.

Your library card gives you a front row seat to a Hollywood blockbuster. You can check out a New York Times bestseller as an audiobook to your phone. And you can still attend fun and interesting library programs, but in your P.J.s on the couch. 

The Library is keeping you connected to work and school, to information about the pandemic, to entertainment (yes, please!), and most importantly, to each other. Our doors are open, whether you walk in, drive through or log on.

We love doing this for you, but it hasn’t been easy!

The Library has changed the way we do business, and with less money than in normal times. We’ve upped our game in e-books and hot spots, and added things inside our branches to keep you safe. Library staff have created family activities that are enjoyed in the great outdoors or at home. 

If you love The Library, and we know you do, donate today to help keep your library strong now and when we're all ready to get back to normal.

In normal times, The Library welcomes nearly two million visitors from Springfield, Greene County and beyond. It’s a place where people gather to read, use computers and meeting rooms, attend storytimes and programs, and to hear a free concert. In normal times, we’d be gearing up for a Summer Reading Program full of entertainers, hands-on STEM programs and storytimes to keep kids engaged in learning over the summer. Of course, we know these are not normal times. 

Adaptability

The Library continues to adapt to serve the community. During the shutdown, The Library quickly expanded its online research and reference resources and made it possible to apply for a library card online. It established a phone number to answer patrons’ questions. The district extended Wi-Fi access 24/7 to parking lots at all branches. Camera-shy staff became storytime celebrities as programs quickly went online. We quarantined and cleaned returned materials.

E-book checkouts skyrocketed in April and May during the stay-at-home order. In April alone, patrons checked out 41% more e-books and e-audiobooks over the same time last year, with 39,324 checkouts. Now that we’re open, patrons want and need more such digital services. The Library secured funding to increase the number of hot spots, laptops for patron use, e-books and e-audiobooks in a move to help close the digital divide.

The Library branches have been open since May 26, 2020 and we’re doing everything possible to keep visitors safe, including the addition of a smartphone app called cloudLibrary, a touchless option that lets patrons check out their own books with their smartphone. 

Inside the buildings you’ll see physically distanced seating and protective plexiglass. Masks are required to be worn while in all Springfield-Greene County Libraries. The Library provides disposable masks when patrons need them, especially at Park Central Branch Library, where many library patrons are experiencing homelessness.

With the rollout of the vaccine, library staffers are helping patrons find when they are eligible and how to sign up for appointments. This is a critical service for people who don't own a computer and for seniors who struggle with navigating the internet.

Library Wi-Fi remains available beyond business hours outside our branches, a benefit for patrons who need Wi-Fi after hours. As of October 1, the extended hours for Wi-Fi in parking lots is Ash Grove: 7–8 p.m.; Fair Grove: 4 a.m.–10 p.m.; Library Express West kiosk: 24/7; Library Station, Library Center, Park Central Branch, Republic Branch and Schweitzer Brentwood, 4 a.m.–11 p.m.; Midtown Carnegie: Monday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m., none on Sunday; Strafford and Willard branches 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

Continuity

The pandemic did not stop the Summer Reading to Go program in 2020, which provided literacy opportunities to under-resourced families who may not be able to visit a library branch. Staff handed out hundreds of literacy project kits to nine day camps, (Salvation Army, SPARC, two YMCA sites, four Boys and Girls Clubs, and Republic Stripes Summer Daycamp). Staff also provided Summer Reading To Go services to hundreds of preschool children, the Salvation Army Family Enrichment Center and the Kitchen Emergency Shelter families. 

Additional outreach services, such as Walking Books, are an important way to ease social isolation worsened by coronavirus. Library patrons who cannot easily travel to the Library due to physical limitations can get Library materials delivered to their homes once a month.

Patron Jan Dieke is legally blind and dictated this letter through her friend, Lynda Schubler:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Greene County Library and Walking Books for all the many hours and entertainment the audiobooks have provided over the last year and a half. The audiobooks have been key to keeping my mind active and engaged. Without the personal touch of staff, the choosing and delivery of books would be near impossible for me at this time and in the future. I hope this program is supported and continues for me and others with vision impairment. Without the audiobooks my quality of life would be different. With great sincerity and appreciation, Jan Dieke.”

The Summer Reading Program adapted to the times and provided motivation for kids to continue learning through the pandemic summer.

“My oldest son is dyslexic,” shared one parent, "and since participating in the summer reading program he has been much more motivated to read. Although he still doesn’t generally read for pleasure he has had more reason to explore various genres at the Library and discover he prefers nonfiction to the funny stories that are normally introduced to reluctant readers.”

Another parent, who echoed similar comments for other caregivers said,

"Thank you all SO MUCH for keeping this summer tradition going during a pandemic! This is one experience our daughters did not have to lose.”

Takeout Kits have been hugely popular among kids and adults. The mental health benefits of crafting shouldn’t be underestimated during this stressful time. Library staff have been busy creating projects with all the supplies needed to complete a craft at home. The Takeout Kits can be picked up at any branch or drive-through window.

Maria Shuffit submitted a set of photos of her son enjoying the Library’s Takeout Kits with this note:

"We are the Shuffits and we love the library! We are so grateful to still be able to interact with the library during the pandemic. We are loving the take out projects! Thank you for continuing to share fun and learning with our family!”

Even during a pandemic, people need to physically come into The Library. They need Wi-Fi, computers, a quiet place to work remotely or study, notary assistance and other free resources only a public library can provide. The Library is a critical public space for working and learning. Caregivers still want their children to experience the joy of browsing for books. We’ve been told that for many families, The Library is one of the few places where they feel safe bringing their kids.

Loss of Revenue

The following is a list, but not all-inclusive, of areas where revenue is down. Due to the shutdown and decreased demand for passports, revenue for passport processing at the Library Center and the Library Station was down $30,915.00 in December 2020 from the same time in 2019. Revenue from fines was down $24,660.18. The Library is collecting no rent from its coffee shops, as the Mudhouse at the Library Center and Big Momma’s at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library remain closed. Gift shop revenue is down. Revenue from copy machines was down $8,783.41. The Library will not receive the full state Athletes and Entertainers tax revenue, which was expected to be $46,000. The Library purchased cleaning supplies, plexiglass and PPE to keep the public safe throughout all the library branches. Some, but not all, of those expenses have been reimbursed through the CARES Act. 

The two fundraising arms of The Library -- The Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library -- have canceled events and therefore have less to give back to The Library. The Friends canceled its spring 2020 book sale, and the Library Foundation canceled One Big Party in the spring and Flights & Frights Trivia Night in October. These events represent approximately $130,000 in lost net revenue.

Looking to the Future

The vision of the Springfield-Greene County Library District is to be "A thriving Library that is an integral part of the lives of the community." The Library is addressing the priorities of the community during the pandemic while planning for normal times.

Updates

We won the drawing at 3!

Did you see The Library won a $5,000 "Luck of the Draw" prize from Legacy Bank and Trust? It's because of you! You donated to our project and got us into the drawings. We can't thank you enough for your generous gifts. You are keeping our wonderful public library strong!

Supporters


About The Library Foundation

Younger patrons who love the Library Center may not remember a time when the district's flagship facility didn't exist. In 1993, The Library Foundation was created to support the opening of the newest branch six years later in 1999.

For 28 years, The Library Foundation has been promoting charitable giving to benefit Library programs and services. Property tax dollars alone cannot support what we do. Gifts from individual donors, corporations and foundations allow the Springfield-Greene County Library District to bring information, technology and culture within everyone’s reach, creating more informed, engaged citizens.

Recent Accomplishments

In 2016, the Foundation successfully completed the ReNew Brentwood Capital Campaign, raising more than $2.5 million for the renovation of the Brentwood Branch Library. The branch was renamed Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library after Jewell Schweitzer, the principal benefactor.

The Laton Endowment, established in 2017, surpassed $500,000. This fund was created with a generous estate gift from longtime patron Ursula Marie Laton. This is a new source of unrestricted income for The Library. As the endowment grows, so will usable income from the earnings.

In 2018, The Library was able to purchase cutting-edge technology in the MagicBox, thanks to Mr. David H. Jones, a Springfield attorney and library supporter. His $38,000 gift provides a new way to view digital images, videos, artifacts and rare books. This interactive exhibit is housed at the Library Center.

In the fall of 2019, the Ball Foundation awarded The Library Foundation a $108,000 grant to enhance the children’s area at Library Station. The Play and Learn Center will feature interactive toys and furniture to encourage open-ended play and reading.

How You Can Help

We challenge our donors to build a thriving community and inspire lifelong learning through financial gifts that support the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

The Library Foundation

https://foundation.thelibrary.org/

Springfield/Greene County, Missouri
417-616-0586
foundation@thelibrary.org