We’ll Come to You. Outside Library Services and COVID
2021 Regional Conference
July 29, 2021
COVID-19 challenged libraries to think outside the box. At Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach this meant thinking outside the library. Learn how an IMLS and FL Cares grants enabled us to bring essential services to neighborhoods adversely affected by COVID-19. The library’s Wi-Fi-enabled minivan offers homework assistance and educational enrichment for youth, helps individuals investigate free or reduced-price broadband internet plans, loans laptops and hotspots, provides ESOL services and assists with job applications and resume building. Presenters will share relevant community demographics and how COVID-19 further exposed the gap between those that can and cannot access the internet, safe transportation, and academic enrichment services. We’ll explain how we learned who the library was not reaching and identified barriers we could remove. Speakers will facilitate discussion on bringing library programs and services outside the library, what kind of data can be used to recognize existing service gaps and how to select potential venues for services. Additional topics to be discussed will include: the challenges and rewards of bringing services offered by numerous library departments together in the community; how to train a new versatile employee with the skills, expertise and programming knowledge of various departments and the roadblocks of hitting the pavement and how to best avoid potholes.
Presenters: Kathy Hage, Jennifer McQuown, and Lisa Hathaway.
Kathy Hage is the Youth Services Supervisor for the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach where she looks after outreach and partnerships and works to leverage library and community resources to support youth, families and educators. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Oakland University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University.
Jennifer McQuown has over 15 years of experience working with children and teenagers in West Palm Beach. She is a passionate advocate of reading and believes in getting books into the hands of every child and teenager. As the youth services manager of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Florida, McQuown has worked tirelessly to develop programs and partnerships for children and teens through her library and the community. She is the 2020 recipient of American Library Association’s Scholastic Library Publishing Award. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences from the University of South Florida.
Lisa Hathaway is Library Director of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach where she oversees a world-class library that provides resources to engage the citizens of West Palm Beach in all aspects of their lives. Ms. Hathaway’s vision is to not only encourage a love of literacy for people of all ages and backgrounds, but to promote the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach as a vital community gathering space that supports job-seekers, small businesses, economic redevelopment and life-long learning, while addressing race and social equity issues within our community. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Information Studies and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. She has worked with the City of West Palm Beach for over 17 years.