Louisville Public Library Virtual Visit

September 28, 2020

State Librarian Wendy Knapp

My first library visit had to be conducted virtually, as we’re all adjusting to new ways of interacting because of the pandemic.  On August 25, Director of Louisville Public Library Brock Hutchison very kindly “met” me in the library’s incredible Sensory Space at the Discovery Center.  While the Discovery Center has to remain closed to the public during this public health crisis, it is a unique space that serves anyone with sensory processing disorders, autism, dementia, and learning disabilities.  This space is a great example of the kinds of grants that can be awarded through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  It was exciting to see the library using the space so creatively.  By collocating with other community partners in an old Post Office, the library is demonstrating great community partnerships. This is on full display in the Umbrella Alley where the library has supported the town in having an art installation that has been a positive use of downtown space open to everyone even through the pandemic.

Brock also showed me around the library itself, which was open and doing a great job of keeping their staff and patrons safe.  The staff had done a great job rearranging computers and furniture to promote social distancing, with lots of visual cues for everyone on how to stay safe while using the library.  While we’ve all been challenged by the extraordinary circumstances, having the opportunity to visit colleagues who are so dedicated to serving their communities and developing new services to support those communities, like the way the Louisville Public Library Maker Space is supporting the Stark County Fair by etching the plaques, is an uplifting and encouraging experience. I want to thank Brock and the staff at the Louisville Public Library for being so welcoming to me in this unconventional visit!

If you’d like to have me visit your library virtually, please reach out to Julia Ward at jward@library.ohio.gov.