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Fontanelle Observer

ibrary director says ‘it’s very important people have access’

Pictured in March 2018 demonstrating all of the Fontanelle Public Library's online offerings is library director Melissa Menefee.
Pictured in March 2018 demonstrating all of the Fontanelle Public Library's online offerings is library director Melissa Menefee.

FONTANELLE - Library officials across the area have worked in unusual conditions recently having to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they remind citizens they’re still working to provide resources to anyone who may need them.

Library Director Melissa Menefee, who has worked in that capacity since 2016, said she never thought she’d have to close the library doors like she did March 18.

Since then, online resources have still been available. Books and other volumes in the library, including movies, are available for check-out by calling the library. Staff members will find the item for patrons and leave them outside.

In addition to these services, Menefee reports there are many online offerings the library has through an app called Libby through the website BRIDGES by OverDrive. The WiFi at the library is still on to allow internet access for anybody who needs it.

To use Libby or any other online feature of area libraries, a library card is needed. For accurate tracking of library usage, patrons are encouraged to sign in to these resources using their own community’s library information.

“The way people have been contacting me to get their accounts updated, I think we will definitely see a lot higher number of participants through BRIDGES,” Menefee said.

Libby is a smart phone app and is the newest product BRIDGES has rolled out. and Menefee has heard a lot of positive feedback about the app.

In addition to the offerings of BRIDGES, the library’s website is where patrons can find the library’s catalog. To reach the catalog specifically, browsers can go to fontanelle.biblionix.com. Once they find something they like, they can notify Menefee to arrange to pick it up.

Menefee said leaving the WiFi on is important because not all residents have internet at home. Some may need it to access unemployment resources, up-to-date COVID-19 information or to connect with loved ones virtually.

“It’s very important that people have this access. With our WiFi being on 24/7, they can always access it, it’s always on, there’s no password needed,” Menefee said. “Not only do we have BRIDGES, we have our online catalog and our library website, which has many more features and programming. As terrible as it is being quarantined at home, there’s a lot of information out there for people and we’re still trying to serve the community.”

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