Year End Letter

Dear Sun Prairie Public Library Patrons,

To say 2020 has been a challenging year is an understatement at best! It has been the only time in my career that I have had to keep the doors locked for over 24 hours for anything besides weather issues, facility repairs, or holidays. What a difference a year makes!

I am extremely proud of the innovation and resilience demonstrated by the Sun Prairie Public Library staff and our community during a pandemic. We all pulled together! We immediately increased access to digital resources through Overdrive and Hoopla and began offering virtual programs. Our storytime programs gave children and families a feeling of safety, comfort and routine immediately as our Youth Services department began offering storytimes on Facebook Live. We eventually opened our doors for technology. This resource has been invaluable especially to our patrons that are facing difficult situations due to financial, housing, employment, and medical insecurity. We also began offering access to physical collections through our curbside service. This service is in high demand and requires many hours of coordinated staff work time. Thanks to the Friends of the Sun Prairie Public Library, staff has been using the Read Before Book Store as “command central” for curbside Service. Our Library Pages have been going out to place items in the trunks of patrons’ cars no matter the weather. They are our backbone! This Sunday, we began offering holds pick up by converting our porch to a drive-up window. Staff has been doing a lot of learning to make all of this happen by gaining knowledge and acquiring skills in communication and media technologies, public health metrics and protocols, and social justice.

Library staff have come up with creative and innovative services that will likely remain when we are on the other side of things including: 1) digital library card applications and cards, 2) programming-to-go kits, 3) virtual reading programs, 4) Story Walks, 5) Dream Bus Service and 6) Urban SUN: Black Voices Book Club.

There is still much uncertainty that lies ahead but I am certain that 2021 will be a time not just to restore and “get back to normal”. It will also be a time for the Sun Prairie Public Library to improve and maybe even reimagine some of our services. It is my sincere wish that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season and most importantly, a very healthy New Year. I look forward to greeting all of you in person in 2021. Our patrons are our inspiration. Thank you for keeping us motivated and excited!

It is my honor and privilege to work for the Sun Prairie Public Library and the community,

With deep gratitude,
Svetha Hetzler
Library Director