For Beatrice residents, escaping into different worlds and viewpoints, or accessing resources to learn more about this world, are all in one easily accessible location at 100 N 16th Street.
While Beatrice Public Library’s doors were closed for roughly two months this spring due to COVID-19, many of its services were still available and used by the community.
Youth services librarian and interim director Joanne Neemann said that library is still offering curbside and delivery of physical materials for those not wanting to enter the building. She said card requests, and eBook and audiobook usage through Nebraska OverDrive Libraries’ Libby app have all increased this year.
“We had some new cards issued just specifically for the Libby app,” Neemann said. “So it is kind of catching on, and I think the schools are using more of it because there’s no physical books to touch. So our younger crowd is starting to use the Libby app and Overdrive.”
The library also offers music through Freegal Music, foreign language education through Mango Languages, magazines through RBdigital and online newspapers through Newsbank.
“We have all kinds of online things that many [people] would never have tried out or would even have thought of the library having, because they didn’t need it,” the previous library director, Laureen Riedesel, said. “They had their own services, or they knew they could stop in and pick up a book or a magazine, whatever it was that they wanted. That part just didn’t appeal to them as something they needed right then. Now all of a sudden, it’s like ‘I don’t really want to deal with that part of the world anymore. I want things to come to me online. I want to be able to stay home and access the world.’ Hey, we got ready for that.”