Kinsman Free Public Library Annual Report 2020

On August 27, 2020, the Kinsman Free Public Library received a donation of a life-size bronze statue depicting Rebecca Kinsman and her son, John Kinsman, that is now prominently displayed in the Library’s outdoor Reading & Wellness Garden as a tribute to Kinsman’s rich history for all to enjoy. The statue was designed by artist Michael Kraus, curator at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburgh. The 1,800 pound hollow statue that pays homage to the township’s founding family was funded by private donations from Kinsman community members. Rebecca Kinsman was not only instrumental in establishing Kinsman alongside her husband, she was also philanthropic, giving generously to religious and educational enterprises such as the Presbyterian Church and Case Western Reserve. Their son, John, who was brought to this area by his parents when he was only eleven years old, is identified as a key player in the early settlement of the Western Reserve area. He, like his mother, had a philanthropic heart and gave graciously to early settlers to create a town that people were happy to call home. Kraus includes several subtle nods to the family and the era that can be found within the statue. John is standing behind his mother as a show of respect, and he is holding a ledger book behind his back to represent their connection as founders of the First National Bank in the area. A Bible is laid open in Rebecca’s lap, as she was known to be a devout Christian. 020 will be a year that human kind will never forget. Citizens of the world fell victim to a violent global pandemic as the Covid-19 virus took hold of our world. Americans braved economic and financial uncertainty as businesses and institutions across the country shut down. We were challenged by political and civil unrest centered around social injustices and a presidential election that left us feeling like a country divided. Through it all, one certainty became quite evident. The public library is more vital and relevant today than ever before. The Board of Trustees, administration and staff of the Kinsman Free Public Library remained committed to serving the community in the face of adversity. New policies and operating procedures were swiftly implemented to ensure the safety of both patrons and staff. The library's physical spaces underwent major refacing and restructuring projects in order to accommodate for proper social distancing and other necessary safety protocols, such as touch free and contact free service options. The library's virtual spaces were modified and expanded as well to include much needed digital services like on-line chat help, virtual library programming, and online self-services. KFPL took the obstacles presented by 2020 and turned them into opportunities to learn, to understand, to grow, to become inspired, to create and to innovate. From the darkness, we arose with the capacity and motivation to serve our patrons and our community better than ever as we move toward a stronger and brighter tomorrow. P A G E 2 2 0 2 0 : H I S T O R Y I N T H E M A K I N G “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~Maya Angelou~ T H E K I N S M A N S C O M E H O M E