Read On! Vol. 130: Change & Transitions

Read On! Change & Transitions


“You could not step twice into the same river” is a quote from Plato summarizing Heraclitus’ philosophy of change. The Persian adage “and this, too, shall pass away” is probably a more familiar way to express the same sentiment: Change is inevitable.

Knowing change is destined to come doesn’t make it any easier though. The transition between one set of circumstances to another is a challenge. And when change is not a good thing, the situation can feel hopeless and overwhelming. 

Luckily, if you’re experiencing a change in your life, someone has written a book or article about it or created a Facebook group for it. Better still, your library can help you find and access those resources so you can equip yourself with knowledge and take comfort that you are not alone. 

Our catalog is pretty easy to search and will show items we have in the building and items available to download. We’ve got catalog computers set up in the lobby and by the Youth Services desk. You can also go to our webpage ( to search from home. 

Our staff is happy to guide you through your search in person or over the phone if you’re comfortable with that. We are bound by law and ethics to keep your information needs private. 

If the library doesn’t own a resource you need, hope is not lost. We may be able to get it through our inter-library loan (ILL) service (which costs $3 for postage). We have access to hundreds of library collections and Jacinda, who is in charge of our ILLs, is gifted at finding hard to find titles. 

We also have free wi-fi and free access to internet computers you can use. If you need help navigating a computer we can help with that as well. Mac and the ladies who work at the checkout desk are patient and kind teachers.

Times are weird and change is hard. The library can help. 

Read On! Marie is leaving

I am sad to officially announce that after almost 17 years, Marie Reist is resigning her position at the Library. Her last day will be Sept 8th. She is leaving us to embark on a host of new and lovely adventures. We are sad not to have her here every day, but we are so happy for her and the life she is building.

In lieu of a good-bye reception, we are putting together a book of sorts that will contain notes from staff and everyone who knows and loves her. Please plan to contribute and let Marie know how much she will be missed and how she has touched your life! 

We will have a kiosk set up in the lobby of the Library with paper and pens. You’re also welcome to drop your notes off at any desk or mail them to us at 505 E. Graham Ave, 74361. Your deadline to get your note(s) to us is 5pm on Sept 4, 2020.

Marie has seen a lot of changes at the Library in her almost 17 years here. She has staffed almost every public service desk in the building, worked under four directors, and acted as interim director. Marie has shaped the library and it’s collection more than almost any other staff member. She is often recognized as the face of the Library and through our website and social media accounts, she is also the Library’s voice much of the time. 

I don’t have enough room here to expound on how amazing Marie is and how much I personally appreciate and value her. The Library is seeing an end to an era with Marie’s departure and it will take us time to acclimate to this change. We have decided to split Marie’s duties among us – she is the only person on the planet who can do everything she does as well as she does – so please be patient with us as we transition into our new roles and responsibilities.  Luckily, she will be able to hold our hands in her last month here and make sure we don’t mess up too much. 

Read On! Safety measures revisited

COVID Cautions are a drag. I hate that we have to think about all of these things that were once automatic. Shaking hands, hugging, hanging out, going back to school. Everything we did a year ago with no second thought now has to be carefully planned and explained and justified. It’s exhausting and it’s scary. It’s also important. So, here’s a reminder of what we’re doing at the Library to make sure our community and staff are safe. 

There is incredibly compelling evidence that this coronavirus stays in the air a lot longer than originally thought. This means, hanging out in the Library (or in any public building) is not super safe. Our staff doesn’t have much choice about being here, so we’re encouraging all of our patrons to be quick about what they need in the building. To that end, we removed most of our chairs and rearranged many areas to encourage quick visits. We still have curbside pickup available for anyone who wants it. 

The staff are wearing masks when we interact with our patrons. They’re not particularly fun to wear for a full library shift, but keeping each other safe is important. We are not requiring patrons to wear masks in the building, but if you need help from staff (especially at the computer or copier), you may be asked to keep your distance if you don’t have a mask on. 

Speaking of computers, all of our patrons are limited to one hour of computer time per day in the building. If you have your own device, we’ve got our wifi on 24 hours a day. It reaches into the parking lot, so you’re welcome to use it while you hang out in your car or on the lawn. 

We are cleaning surfaces with a bleach solution. Some surfaces, like countertops, are cleaned hourly. Others, like our self-check machine and computers, are cleaned after every use.

Stay safe and wash your hands.

Read on! New fiscal year

We’re in a new budget year at the City and the Library. It’s time to look back at the previous year and plan for the new one.

We didn’t accomplish all of our goals from last year. Namely, our Technology Plan and our Disaster Plan aren’t finished. The Technology Plan is in its final stages and will be sent to the Board and Council soon. The Disaster Plan will be completed in the Fall, though COVID-19 has inspired some parts of it already.

Luckily, we aren’t starting the new year off too far behind. Some of our goals for the new fiscal year have already been accomplished. Our Strategic Plan calls for us to evaluate the need to purchase local ebooks and digital audiobooks, which the Library Board decided to start doing when we closed for COVID in March. We are also slated to look at STEM programming this year. Thanks to the stipend we received from the Mid-America Industrial Park, we’ve already got the programs outlined and the supplies and equipment in stock. We just have to wait until it’s safe enough to implement them. 

None of our Strategic Plan goals or activities for this year are particularly flashy or noticeable by anyone not on staff. Much of what we’re doing this year is preserving institutional memory by documenting procedures, processes, and other knowledge. Once we’ve accomplished these goals, we’ll be a stronger organization with a solid foundation on which to grow.

One of the things you will notice in the coming fiscal year is changes in our front-line staff. Assuming the Library Board, Budget/Personnel Committee, and the Council approve our plan, we’ll be shifting some staff around. We will also be saying farewell to a beloved staff member in a few months. Stay tuned for how we will celebrate her time with the Library and wish her well in her new adventures.