Other than a Zumba group that met in the parking lot, Hardin County Public Library hasn’t had in-person adult programming since March 2020. That all changes Aug. 2 when the library returns to a full schedule of in-person adult programming.

Upcoming adult programs include book clubs, writing groups, adult education, health and fitness classes and workshops, arts and crafts programs and times for movies, games and fellowship.

“Some of these opportunities include Tai Chi, tech tutorials, yoga, elder law and Alzheimer’s education, Zumba, ESL and a wide variety of other activities, including a walking group that meets at Freeman Lake (Park),” said Rebekah Akers, adult services librarian.

Library director Rene Hutcheson said staff have missed interacting with patrons and their smiling faces.

“Some of them usually browse the shelves and check-out books before or after their classes,” she said.

While some group were able to meet on Zoom, others, such as the Bridge Club, have really missed regular library meetings, Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said she was amazed how quickly the library staff was able to provide online programs during the pandemic, which included virtual story times, teen programming and adult programs on Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

“The staff is to be commended for working so well together to help each other provide innovative programs for our library patrons during such a difficult time,” she said.

Teen programming grew when it was online, Hutcheson said. Some teen activities such as Dungeons & Dragons return in person this month, but programs such as Anime, Girls who Code and the Teen Book Club still are online, as of now.

As for the children’s department, a summer reading program ends July 31 with a T-Rex Tea party, Hutcheson said.

“That is the last day for the kids to bring back their reading challenge forms and pick up their prizes,” she said.

Monday, a Birds of Prey program is at 1 p.m. for children 4 and older outside at the library. Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky will bring three birds of prey for the program, she said.

As far as COVID precautions at the library, Hutcheson said staff members are watching the infection rates locally and keeping in touch with Lincoln Trail District Health Department.

“Obviously if things change we can revert back to online programs or take extra precautions,” she said. “For now, we ask people to be responsible and not leave home if they feel sick or have been exposed to anyone who is sick.”

Staff also routinely clean and sanitize high contact surfaces and will provide hand sanitizer throughout the library, Hutcheson said.

Akers said everyone at the library is excited to see visitors returning.

“We’ve had so many patrons over the last several months who have consistently asked when we will be back to in-person, and they are so excited about being able to come back and gather,” Akers said. “A lot of our patrons rely on our programming for sharing information, building valuable connections and keeping engaged in the community.”

Akers said while many are excited about the return of in-person programming, there are those that are hesitant or unable to get back to normal yet.

“In an effort to fulfill their needs as well, we will continue to provide a selection of online programming,” she said.

Hutcheson added the library has subscribed to Mango Languages that teaches more than 70 world languages. The remote access is compatible with mobile devices and is free to library patrons. Information is online and a library card is needed to create a profile to learn a new language through the program, she said.

Those interested in library programming can keep informed about what’s going on at hcpl.info, or social media accounts. The library’s full calendar of August programming, including registration links, can be found on its website and on Facebook page.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416 bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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