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Lunch and Learn with Melissa Merida, Director of the Floyd County Library

“Clear Water Ahead: The Floyd County Library Meeting the Future”
Wednesday, December 16   |   Noon – 1 PM on Zoom

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In an unprecedented year, Lunch and Learn welcomes Melissa Merida, Director of the Floyd County Library, to reflect back on the many challenges the pandemic presented along with the opportunities that lay ahead. This will be the last Lunch and Learn program of this year. The Lunch and Learn series is sponsored by Jamey and Sarah Aebersold.

Whatever plans most organizations and libraries were preparing for during the calendar year 2020 had to be scrapped or mothballed into the near future as the COVID-19 virus cut across the country. The Carnegie Center for Art and History, as one of the three branches of the Floyd County Library, is extremely proud of the continued creativity and flexibility shown by all three Library locations during this continuing emergency. Essential services have come to mean so much more in this pandemic moment as the public recognizes the value of the work provided by others that is not only necessary for society’s smooth functioning, but also subject to some personal risk as well.

Early on during the pandemic, the Floyd County Library staff were sewing hundreds of protective cloth masks and digitally printing parts for face shields at the Galena Digital Branch. Staff were also made available for potential contact tracing. In short, much needed to happen during the quarantined moment and the Library rose to the challenge under Merida’s leadership as the pandemic became a much bigger event than foreseen.

The Floyd County Library has responded in fiscally-responsible, smart, and supportive ways using all three of its locations. Much more was required from the Library than simply gathering up all the out of the building materials and figuring out how to safely clean them while protecting the staff from possible exposure to the virus. That in itself was a big logistical feat. A lot of continuing education also occurred among the staff as more and better online tools and forums became the new meeting spaces.

As primary and secondary education has moved into an online, virtual space, the Library particularly through the Carnegie Center has become, along with its community peers and partners, a go-to source for quality programming with most of it being free to the public. The general public has come to accept curbside services and this was one of the big surprises that will probably continue as the Floyd County Library moves forward. This has allowed the Library to renovate some of the New Albany Central Branch’s interiors and departments. When the “all clear” is finally given, the general public will be surprised at how accommodating the reorganized spaces within the Library will be. The Library has also provided hundreds of free at-home activities and books in bagged kits that the public has responded positively towards.

Melissa Merida has been the Director of the Floyd County Library since February of 2016.  She has worked in Indiana libraries for more than 18 years and is a graduate of Indiana University at Bloomington. She came to New Albany as the Floyd County Purdue Extension Director and held that position for six years.

Register below to receive a Zoom link to join this free online conversation. Meet Library Director Melissa Merida, ask questions, and learn more about where the Library is going in the near future. For more information, email info@carnegiecenter.org.

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