How A.Ok. Smiley Public Library dealt with a pandemic and got here via for Redlands – San Bernardino Solar

Early last spring, when California citizens were on the verge of collapse due to the COVID-19 epidemic, many businesses changed, and found new and different ways to send customers.

AK Smiley Public Library was also among those who moved and relocated after closing their doors on March 16. In the past, the website offers a variety of services, but staff are promoting the content and adding more functions.

“We are very proud of our social networking site,” said Don McCue, curator of the Smiley Library. “The librarians were well-off [to have those and eBooks]. We found additional funding to expand our operations in those areas. Also, we used Kanopy actively, a free monthly service for educational videos and entertainment. We found out enough that the library team decided to continue participating in the payment throughout the summer. ”

Towards the end of March, the weekly reading stories of Young Readers’ Room began via Facebook Live. One month later, the Books to Go program – where consumers store books via the website or phone and then go to the library and pick up options using COVID-19 – was launched. It was a great success, so the library team decided to continue the project.

According to Nathan Gonzales, general manager of AK Smiley and superintendent of the Lincoln Shrine Memorial Museum, which made the transition to the works a bit difficult.

“We’ve been working with some things at Lincoln Shrine, but we weren’t in the right mindset in the world as it all changes,” he recalled. “It was very important for us to know ‘What are we doing already?’ and ‘what can we do to improve quickly?’ ”

Answers helped determine which jobs and programs could be most helpful to people living in their homes 24/7.

“It simply came to our notice then [and it took a while to figure out], “Said Gonzales.” At that time we did not know how things would turn out. “

Controversy over Webinar

In mid-April, Gonzales and a colleague began making Saturday morning’s “Resilient Redlands” book series compiled by the Smiley Library and Shrine staffers. Considering topics related to Redlands history and contributions to the Lincoln Memorial Shrine, it can be found on the library page, Facebook page and YouTube special channel.

The webinar series and related work, “Resilient Redlands: COVID-19 and Our Town,” provide an opportunity for public participation. “Town” revolves around life during illness. Citizens present their experiences online with images, poems, art, stories or any of the memory archives of the COVID-19 library.

“As historians, we want to document this moment – our experiences, our experiences – for everyone here,” Gonzales said.

Reflecting on the flu epidemic in Spain from 1918 to 20, “We know it happened, and there are articles in the newspaper. But not many material things can work,” he added. “Because this is happening in real time for us, we can make donations now that people (will see) in 100 years and see what is happening.”

Some of the items are photos of online meetings, one yoga, circling watches in the Redlands like empty storage shelves at Gerrard’s and stickers that distract people on the floor.

“We have pictures of what State Street businesses are putting in their windows [when many were closed], “Said Gonzales.” There are some very interesting pictures. “

In addition, people are able to share how their lives have changed through a number of questions. “This will enable future historians to determine the impact on people’s lives,” Gonzales said.

The webinar series will continue on the second and fourth Saturday of each month until December. “We will continue to accept donations forever,” Gonzales said. “We want to give everyone a chance.”

Interestingly, there was also an online show in his time, “The Vote for Women: 100 Years of Adversity,” which celebrates the centenary of the 19th legislative reform and the efforts of local women to get through. Redlands’ past ideas are available on this page for use, for free, as a basis for Zoom meetings.

Interestingly, the library, built in 1898, remained open during the Spanish flu outbreak, although most of the town was closed. Earlier, a Smiley writer described the building as well-ventilated, well-ventilated, and free from disease. However, the refunded books melted down before a re-examination.

Today, workers at Smiley clean up the literature following instructions from the American Library Association. After being left on the dot for a day or two, the books are brought in, loaded with pesticides for 72 hours (using gloves and masks), taken out of the bag, and wiped out with Windex and water. The lighting tables, where the owners live, currently contain drying books at the end of the project.

“We will continue to work on cleanliness once we reopen the community,” McCue said. “The work will be moved to our conference room, where we previously prepared for the program.”

  • Author Julia Hanna cleans a book inside the Assemble Room at AK Smiley Public Library. (Photo by John Valenzuela)

  • Books are on the table after treatment. (Photo by John Valenzuela)

  • It makes sense

    The building will start againseconds

  • Youth Library Superintendent Pamela Martinez plans to take the heat of visitors before they are allowed into the library. It is one of the measures taken to ensure the health of visitors and employees. (Photo by John Valenzuela)

  • Pamela Martinez watches the warmth of a young guest visiting the library. (Photo by John Valenzuela)

  • Despite the closure of the Spanish Fluenza of 1918, Smiley’s library remained open. The title appeared in the October 14, 1918, issue of Redlands Daily Facts.

  • Alfred, left, and Albert K. Smiley (Courtesy of AK Smiley Public Library)

  • Tables used by the AK Smiley Public Library, used by those who used the library before the epidemic, now contain books on hygiene. (Photo by Eric Reed, 2015)

Economic hardships

According to economic analysts, McCue said that as soon as the crisis began in March, co-workers feared that “another drop in the shoe could affect the city’s finances. We were asked to cut $ 733,000 and eventually the city returned to $ 533,000.”

“Because most of our money, about 97%, is tied into wages and benefits, it meant being fired from employees,” McCue added. “We’re looking at the most complex reductions in our hours, ranging from 56 to 35 – and reducing 12 locations.”

After the city failed to fund the library to provide services that Redlands citizens depend on, Smiley’s staff reached out to citizens in a variety of ways.

Through a combination of $ 193,000 for library funding and a community fundraiser in June, the library added to the city’s budget.

“In the traditional age, we are given $ 90,000 from the fund,” McCue explained. “Now, we’ve added this with an additional $ 319,000,” which includes $ 126,000 from the library’s storage bag.

In the process, twelve librarians worked away from their home in March.

“As April continued, work, book acquisition, book preparation, material production, letter writing and academic studies continued, although we did not serve the people directly,” McCue said.

Three part-time workers were eventually fired, while two full-time employees were left behind.

“The 30 years I’ve been here, it’s probably the hardest month I’ve ever had,” the librarian admitted. “Without [the support from] people in the area, it would have been much worse. ”

On September 9, AK Smiley Public Library resumed humanitarian activities, with blindfolds and distances between groups. Guests only chat for an hour and get tested for heat when they arrive. There is a new door through the children’s garden, and supervisors exit through the Young Readers ’room. The work of Books to Go curbside will continue.

“In this age of epidemic, being able to access a book or more and feel that it is connected to the rest of the world is very important,” said Bill Hatfield, president of the board of trustees. “The fact that everything we do is free means that you are unemployed or have no money, you also have this job.”

Hatfield saw how stable the building was and how important it was.

“I think people have lost the opportunity to come, sit down with a book or magazine and have time to enjoy the beauty and architecture,” he said. “We’ve had good staff all along. They have worked with their hearts. I think he is having fun and giving back to the people. ”

AK Smiley Public Library

  • Where: 125 W. Vine St., Redlands
  • Maola: 2-6 pm Monday-Tuesday, 1-5 pm Wednesday-Thursday, noon-4 pm Friday-Saturday, Sunday closed; Heritage Site is available by appointment only.
  • Details: 909-798-7565,

Time to change

Because of the coronavirus epidemic, it was a year different from any of the AK Smiley Public Library:

  • March 4: Governor Gavin Newsom releases State of Emergency in California.
  • March 10: Local health emergencies have been reported by the San Bernardino County Public Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors.
  • March 12: The COVID-19 software has been developed in the Smiley Library. Workers have installed new signs, removing three chairs and computer space before opening.
  • March 16: The library was closed after a meeting between Smiley’s management and Redlands City Manager Charlie Duggan, who declared the State of Emergency.
  • March 19: A whole house plan provided by Gov. Newsom, except for essential businesses.
  • April 17: The closure of the Library, which is scheduled for the end of the month, is extended until further notice.
  • April 27: The Books to Go curbside program is starting, and is known to be a success.
  • June 3: Public fundraising activities begin; lasts less than a week, achieving a goal.
  • September 9: The library also opens up limited services.

Editor’s Note: An issue of this issue appeared in the 2020 pages of Redlands Magazine.

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