2020— what a year it has been for the history books! Speaking of books, we’ve had an interesting year at the library as well.

We kept productive, safe, healthy, informed and connected throughout this challenging year. We had to step up to the needs of our community and patrons and turn our day to day routines into more creative and outside the box thinking tasks. We have a tremendously dedicated staff and Library Director, so watching them take the bull by the horns to rise to these challenges was astounding to say the least.

We as a board had to work with them to create new policies that we would never have thought necessary and then implement them with all the CDC guidelines and safeguards to ensure that everyone could still enjoy the library during these troubling times.

Unfortunately, we had to close the library for a period of time, but we certainly did a lot during that closure to still do the best job we could to service our patrons needs. We shared pertinent information on social media and our website about COVID-19 throughout this pandemic.

We increased our online presence by having an online raffle — since Wine and Stein could not be held this year. We started doing online sub and sandwich sales because hey, we all gotta eat right? We did some virtual programming like our Power Kids and Power Teens library, Bedtime stories with Miss Yvonne, and adult and youth book clubs.

We also started our curbside pickup so that patrons could still get the books and movies that they so desperately desired. Our staff braved the hot summer heat and set up shop down in Topton to make this happen - going above and beyond to keep things moving. That dedication continued when they even delivered items to some homes around town for patrons who felt uncomfortable with curbside.

We also still did craft kits and science kits that could be picked up as well to keep the kids busy at home.

The library even during our closed time still offered round-the-clock WI FI access too.

Perseverance is a word that our society has been practicing a lot during this year. At the library it has been no different.

Our Library Director, Heather Wicke, worked tirelessly to get the library to Gold Star status with the PA Forward Library. She had to demonstrate full participation in the PA Forward initiative and offer programs which covered each of the five core literacies: Basic Literacy, Civic-Social Literacy, Financial Literacy Health Literacy and Information Literacy. A daunting task during a pandemic, but she did it!

We as a board had to say goodbye to Sandy Cullin who retired this year from the board that she helped start over 30 years ago! Her wisdom and knowledge have gotten us through and we will continue to persevere as a board to make her proud.

Our resident turtle Sheldon had to leave his home at the library to live with the Wicke family and he is thriving and will continue to do so now that he is officially back at BCL! Perseverance!

Our 4 municipalities that we service — Topton, Longswamp, Rockland and District still supported the library with their continued monetary support and we are grateful for their perseverance.

Everyone stepped up and met the challenges that were thrown at them this year and we will continue to do so. To survive in this ever changing world, you have to. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was scary and uncertain at times. Yes, it was not how anyone wanted 2020 to be, but we did it anyway.

So, we at BCL will continue into 2021 doing what we can do to maintain some kind of “normalcy” for our patrons and community. We thank you all for your continued support and donations. We have survived over 30 years in this community because of you and we will do everything we can to persevere. Just remember, we’re all in this together.

The Brandywine Community Library and Board of Trustees would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

Good Reading!

Michelle Herman, Brandywine Community Library Board of Trustees President, on behalf of Board of Trustees & BCL Staff. In 2021, Herman will serve as vice president.

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