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Granton Interim Administrator and Librarian Discuss Services and the Library

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 -- 2:01 PM


-The Granton School District Library continues to provide service to, not only the students of the Granton District, but the entire community as well.

I spoke with Interim Administrator James Kuchta and Granton Librarian Kay Heiting and they discussed Granton’s Library.

Mr. Kuchta:  “Today with me I have Miss Kay Heiting our Library Media Specialist and I’d like Kay to give a little bit of her background.  She’s very special to the Granton Community because she works, not only with the school district K-12, but also as a librarian with the public library.”

Kay:  “I started working for the Granton School District 17 years ago.  I started as the 1st grade teacher, so I’ve seen lots of students come through.  Then in 2012, the Public Library moved into the school space, so far 8 years, I’ve been the Public Librarian serving as the Library Media Specialist.  And Granton has such a huge place in my heart just because it’s such a nice community to be in.”

Question:  “When that switch over happened, was that more challenging or was the transition pretty seamless?”

Kay:  “The transition was pretty seamless.  As we went on, we saw a few more kinks that we had to work out, but the benefits of having the library be in the school have far outweighed all of the little steps that we had to figure out.”

Question:  “Can you talk about the importance of a library to the community?  Especially now during the coronavirus pandemic?”

Kay:  “COVID has definitely given us a challenge.  We want to make sure that we continue to serve our community in the very best way that we can.  So, we still offer in-person services, but we encourage you to call ahead just to make sure that something hasn’t changed since yesterday.  But we can offer curbside pick up where you can come in just to the entryway of the school to pick it up or we can bring it out to your car by appointment.”

“So, we’re really changing the way that we’re thinking and changing how we can serve others.  We do have to quarantine our materials, just to make sure that we’re wiping them down and keeping everyone as safe as we can.  So, that changes our due dates a little bit."

"But we’re still able to get books from all of the other libraries and we are able to order materials in for you, we can still make copies and help with your printing needs.  All of that kind of stuff.  We just encourage you to call ahead so that we can make sure we have staff to assist you.”

Mr. Kuchta:  “I’d also like to mention that Miss Heiting works, as all public libraries do, I believe, with a library system and Miss Heiting is going to talk about that service.”

Kay:  “We are connected to Wisconsin Valley Library Service, they’re based out of Wausau, but we are connected with 27 other libraries.  So, we can currently get books from Wausau, Rothschild, Mosinee, Spencer, there’s 27, Meonequa, Tomahawk."

"So, it really opens up our library materials that we can offer to patrons.  I can’t afford to buy all those books in a small library, but I can still get you what you want to read.  And in return, Granton loans out books to those libraries as well.  And it always surprises me how many books we send to Wausau in a month.”

Question:  “So, essentially, if Granton doesn’t have a book a patron is looking for, you’re able to order it from another library?”

Kay:  “Yes.  And ultimately, patrons can order their own materials right through the website and then we will give them a call when it arrives at our library.  They don’t even have to come in and ask us.  They can use the website and order whatever they want."

"There’s a tutorial video on the Granton Library Homepage that shows you how to do that.  Otherwise, if a patron has questions, I’d love to show them how to be able to order books from home.”

Mr. Kuchta:  “So many things have become so automated now, it’s really great that we have a good website.  We have automated book requests and a great library service."

Basically, we’re connected to the world here through our library and through our website.  And Miss Heiting does just an awesome job, not only with the public library, but with our students.  I’ve seen her teaching lessons and distributing books to different classrooms.  So, we’re very fortunate.”

Kay:  “Another thing I forgot to mention is the ebook access.  We have access to electronic books or audiobooks  with our library card through the liby app.  And that’s been another really thing being able to be digital and being remote.  So, I can help people with setting up their liby account as well.”

Question:  “Can you talk more about some of the teachings and programs you’ve done in the classrooms?”

Kay:  “I go into the classrooms for grades PreK-8th.  And the library lessons are centered on the Common Core Standards, but they’re also connected to the Wisconsin Technology Standards and the American Library Standards."

"So, in 3rd grade, for example, this week I taught them how to determine author’s purpose.  Why did the author write that certain piece of work?  And in 4th grade, we’re going to talk about making inferences."

"So, I really try to incorporate a lot of skills into my library lessons based in general education that they're working on with their classroom teachers and some social learning pieces, as well as those technology skills.”

Question:  “Anything else?”

Kay:  “Please make sure to use our services.  I know that the Neillsville Library, and the Loyal Library and the Greenwood Library are all trying very, very hard to make sure that we can serve the public."

"So, if there’s something that you need from the library or if you need some sort of information, but you’re not sure where to look, contact the library staff because we really want to know how we can serve you during this difficult time.”

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.