Lane Libraries take step toward reopening: Computers, by appointment

People needing computers to find employment or for other reasons regained a resource Monday, when the Lane Libraries reopened some of their machines, by reservation only.

The library locations in Hamilton, Fairfield and Oxford are offering one-hour sessions while they are open, from noon to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, when the branches are open for pick-ups of books and other materials.

Meanwhile, the library’s community technology center, located at 10 Journal Square in Hamilton, also is offering computer use while it is open, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, which offers users some morning access.

“It’s reservation only,” said spokeswoman Carrie Mancuso. “We’re not going to accept walk-ups because we want to make sure we have everybody planned ahead of time,” and so patrons can be told what they need to bring with them, and how the process works, she said. Machines are sanitized between each use.

“They are staggered, one-hour appointments, so you just call the location where you want to go, ahead of time, and then you will be given instructions,” Mancuso said.

She hopes people will spread the word to people who lack computers about the return of the library’s services.

For making reservations, the branch numbers are:

  • Hamilton, 513-894-7158;
  • Fairfield, 513-858-3238;
  • Oxford, 513-523-7531; and
  • Computer technology center, 513-785-2727.

“We’re doing what we can,” Mancuso said. “It’s not what everybody wishes for until we have reopening, but we’re doing everything we can to serve patrons, without the doors being fully opened.”

ExploreEARLIER NEWS: Butler County libraries opening for drive-thru, curbside services

Meanwhile, the library system is using its Book Mobile to make home deliveries. During the period of the coronavirus closures, anybody who can’t make it to the library and would like a home delivery can do.

People of all ages, including families with children, can request one drop-off per month of up to 10 items. The number to call for that service is 513-829-8370.

When the branches are open, librarians are available to answer reference questions.

In addition to that, because the libraries are closed and people aren’t able to browse, “We will do the browsing for you, and we will put together a small collection,” Mancuso said. “We’re calling them ‘Book Bundles,’ where you can just say, ‘I love mysteries, and I love this particular author,’ and we will go out into the collection and find several books that will match your interests, and we’ll put them at the drive-through, and let you know that they’re ready to be picked up.”

“It’s a surprise packet, but it’s catered to your tastes, so the chances are that you’ll like it, because we know a little bit about what you’re looking for before we do the shopping for you.”

Doing your “librarying” online

Both the Lane Libraries and MidPointe Library System have continued to operate online, offering many features to members. Those include:

  • The Lane's Summer Reading program includes prizes. It continues until Aug. 1. Depending on the branch, there may be "grab-and-go" kits available for children's crafts, which are just part of that program.
  • Lane Libraries online also offer ebooks, audiobooks, movies and videos, and free magazine subscriptions with a library card. There also are online research databases, including one where you can learn a language for free, and another where you can take music or art lessons, also free.
  • MidPointe has — available for download — eBooks, we have e-Audiobooks, digital magazines, downloadable movies and downloadable music, among other things.

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