Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Libraries extend online services in Cape Girardeau

Monday, April 27, 2020
Sharon Anderson, Youth Services Coordinator for the Cape Girardeau Public Library, reads Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin.
PHOTO submitted by Whitney Burton, Marketing Coordinator of the Cape Girardeau Public Library

The Cape Girardeau Public Library and Kent Library at Southeast have taken their existing resources and innovated new or improved ways to connect with patrons.

The Office of the Provost issued an email to students on behalf of Kent Library regarding the online services available on April 23. These services include ebooks, interlibrary loans and open educational services. These have always been offered but are more relevant now that all classes are online.

Kent Library Dean Barbara Glackin sent the email to remind students that the library is still useful remotely.

“We wanted to be sure that the students knew about these services that they may not have previously been using,” Glackin said.

Glackin said the library’s home page is the best place for students to access all the services Kent Library provides, whether it be a live chat with a librarian or an ebook for a research paper. Dean Glackin said the library is committed to being helpful in the world of remote learning.

“The biggest thing is reaching out,” Glackin said. “If a student has a question it is best to reach out and ask.”

The Cape Girardeau Public Library uses Facebook to stay connected with patrons. Marketing Coordinator Whitney Burton explained some of the different ways the library is encouraging people to enjoy their services at home.

“When people think of a library, one of the first things they think of is story time,” Burton said. “So that was a pretty easy thing to implement.”

The public library has been using Facebook Live to host story time, wherein a librarian will read aloud to the audience, for different age groups throughout the week.

Not all of the events are geared toward children. To see all future events hosted by the Cape Girardeau Public Library, visit its Facebook page at Cape Girardeau Public Library.

Both libraries have reached out to patrons to offer resources and support during the pandemic. Burton said the amount of online interactions has influenced how faculty are interacting with guests.

“We’ve always had a presence on social media, but we’ve never really put out any of our programs on our pages,” Burton said. “Now, we’re being forced to evolve and figure out how we can still offer those services to the community.”

Kent library is also evolving existing services by offering a live chat with librarians. Glackin said it was important that students and faculty still receive the same care virtually they would have received at the reference desk.

“We are absolutely still committed to student and faculty success and we are doing everything we can virtually to make all of your library information needs happen,” Glackin said.