March 17, 2022 Submitted by the Hingham Public Library
This past weekend marked two years since the world began its pandemic pause, which forced everyone’s daily lives, routines and habits to change. Thanks to the creativity and dedication of the staff at the Hingham Public Library, one thing that never changed was the commitment to give patrons access to as many of the Library’s resources as possible. Even when the building itself had to be closed, the Library facilitated curbside pickup, access to books online, fine-free overdues, remote tech and research help, and virtual programming that kept patrons engaged and connected.
A STORY FOR THE AGES
More than just a building or a collection, the Library is used heavily by every demographic in Hingham and the surrounding communities. Before the pandemic, about 1,000 people walked through the Library’s doors on most days. Usage of the Library’s online resources—especially ebooks and e-audio books—skyrocketed during the pandemic. That’s not surprising, and it illustrates the importance of the Hingham Public Library which continued to provide a sense of normalcy to the community during a highly uncertain time.
Over the years, the Library’s commitment to serving its patrons has never wavered: “Even when the Library closed to move books from the old library on Main Street in Hingham Centre to its current Leavitt Street location in 1966, it was only a temporary suspension,” shared David Mehegan, Trustee and former Board President. “The Library has always tried to be there for people.”
THE PLOT THICKENS
When the building was closed during the pandemic, the Library’s Board of Trustees made a plan to celebrate the reopening. As chance would have it, the Library’s reopening coincides with its 150th anniversary. So, in celebration of both, the Library Board of Trustees invites you to Beyond The Books: A Celebration of the Hingham Public Library at 5:30 pm on Friday, May 6, under a tent on the front lawn of the Library. The event promises a fun and exciting evening based on the theme, The Library Can Take You Anywhere.
Ticketed guests will be entered to win a “pack-your-bags” travel experience. Will you choose to sample the Lowcountry culinary scene in Charleston, South Carolina, or will you enjoy a Gilded Age experience at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina? Perhaps you’d prefer a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of Washington, D.C.? Or, would an outdoor getaway, sailing on Frenchman Bay in Bar Harbor be the story you’d like to experience?
Food at the event will be catered by Kate’s Table. Entertainment will be provided by Three At Home, and plenty of other surprises will be waiting to greet guests in the tent.
Tickets go on sale March 30th. Additional choose-your-own-adventure raffles will be available online and at the event. Please visit www.hinghamlibrary.org/beyondthebooks for details and follow Beyond The Books on Instagram (@hplbeyondthebooks).
Don’t forget that while online usage and demand remain strong to date, the Library is thrilled to see in-person numbers ticking up as patrons return to the building, and everyone is encouraged to go Beyond The Books and celebrate 150 years!
Thank you to the Beyond The Books early corporate sponsors: Middleton & Company, NVNA & Hospice, and The Hingham Anchor.
The Beyond The Books committee is comprised of Alyson M. Hussey, David J. Mehegan, Jen L. Benham, Jeremy Parker, Joan Allen, JoAnn Mitchell, Laura Winters, Lizzie Eldredge, Lucy Hancock, Mona Pohl, Sara Abbott, Sara M. Ader, and Tom Ventresca.