Happy New Year from the Carbondale Public Library! The library is dedicated to serving its community in the safest way possible. It is currently open to the public with some COVID-19 restrictions in place and offers both in-person services and curbside services.

Patrons who come into the building can expect to adhere to all social distancing guidelines, including wearing a face covering. They may spend up to 30 minutes in the library to access all library resources, including the use of public computers.

The library will be offering copy, faxing, scanning and printing services for a fee, as well as notary services each day. Book and interlibrary loan requests may be made with a library staff member. The same services can be made for anyone who wishes to remain in their car during the library’s curbside pick-up hours. The book drop is always available and it is requested that patrons use the book drop for all returns. It is necessary for patrons to have their library card when looking to access the public computers.

The second floor, including the children’s room, the non-fiction/reference room and the public restrooms remain closed at this time, however, all materials are available at patron’s request. A cozy children’s corner has been created for the library’s youngest patrons. In addition, the library continues to take genealogy inquiries, as well.

Although the library appreciates patron’s book donations, it is unable to accept them at this time. Despite this, there are many other ways for patrons to contribute to the library. The library accepts monetary donations online, by mail and in person. They are currently running their Steve & Irene’s Hoagie Sale from now until Feb. 5. Patrons will purchase a voucher for $8 which may be redeemed for any 12-inch hoagie at Steve & Irene’s in Mayfield. Vouchers will be available a week after the sale and expire after one year of purchase. Patrons will be called to pick up their voucher by telephone. Anyone interested in participating in the hoagie sale fundraiser, may do so at the library either in-person or through curbside, or by mail.

Take a trip

The library is offering its Winter Challenge once again for patrons of all ages. This year’s theme is “Reading Takes You Places!” Anyone wishing to participate can sign up in-person or through Beanstack website at lclshome.beanstack.org/reader365.

Beanstack helps patrons keep track of their reading progress and gives them the opportunity to earn virtual badges as they complete their goals.

In person, patrons will receive logs to keep track of their reading goals and challenges. There will be raffle prizes available in four categories no matter how you participate: preschool, kids, teens and adults. Participants can earn raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes — including a lottery ticket wreath and baskets — by completing different types of challenges, writing book reviews and for every four hours they read.

Followers on Facebook can take a trip around the world without leaving home, Leigh Ann Puchalski, youth services librarian, has developed a virtual library with e-resources and book suggestions linked to our catalog that aligns with the “Reading Takes You Places” theme. Each week a new virtual library will be posted with an art or craft activity video and virtual tours around the world. Links are posted on the library’s Facebook page.

Join the club

If you love book clubs, are bored or are missing being with other people — or all of the above — the library is offering three book clubs this winter. The first, is the library’s Between the Covers Book Club that will be meeting over Zoom at 1 p.m. Jan. 28th. They will be discussing “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie. Detective Hercule Poirot retires to a village near the home of his dear friend, Roger Ackroyd. Soon after, however, Ackroyd is murdered and Poirot must come out of retirement to solve the case.

In addition, librarian Jessica Pratt, will be hosting a virtual book club which will meet once a month. The idea is to pick your own book to read based on a theme rather than everyone reading a specific book. During the meeting, everyone will give a brief summary of their book, discuss how it fits the theme and share what they thought about it. The club is a great way to find new books to read while still choosing the types of books you enjoy reading.

Each meeting will be held online over Zoom. If you would like to participate in the new club, please email Jessica Pratt at jpratt@albright.org. The first meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Feb 5. The theme is “ New Year, New You.” Readers are encouraged to select a book about change or starting over.

Lastly, Scranton Reads: One City, One Book, a joint venture of the City of Scranton and the Scranton Public Library announces this year’s book, “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge” by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. This masterpiece aligns with the celebration of Black History Month in February. The Carbondale Public Library has scheduled a book discussion at 5 p.m. Feb. 16. There will be countywide events and programs scheduled all month long as part of the Scranton Reads program which can be accessed through ScrantonReads.org.

Upcoming, the library is currently working on many special events including National Library Week in April and a community vendor marketplace and flea market. It is looking to be a promising year and the library is committed to making it successful for everyone in the community!

Stephanie Spaid is the adult programming director at the Carbondale Public Library. The library, 5 N. Main St., is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for curbside services. On Friday, the library is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to the public and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for curbside. On Saturday, the library is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for both in-person and curbside services. Call the library at 570-282-2385 for more information.