Read On! Covid Times Are Strange Times

For the first time last month, our physical and digital checkout statistics were less than 200 items apart. It looks like October will have similar numbers to report. In normal times, our physical checkouts are about double what our digital checkouts are, but COVID-times are strange times. In fact, all of the statistics we normally use to tell the Library’s story – door counts, checkouts, program attendance, etc. – will have a big asterix next to them this year due to the pandemic. 

The good news is, we’re finding new ways to serve our community. Digital library cards are super popular, especially among students (thanks, Pryor Public Schools for spreading the word!). They give patrons access to all of our online resources without having to come into the building. Our curbside delivery service wasn’t widely used this summer, but I anticipate it becoming more popular as the days grow colder. 

Our goal is to keep library services going as safely as possible as we wait out the pandemic. A positive case among the staff would likely mean the Library closes for at least two weeks while we all quarantine. Because of that, COVID-19 is still part of our daily work-life and service considerations here. Staff are wearing masks and we’re strongly encouraging everyone who comes to the Library to do the same. We even have masks available for free at any of our desks.

It’s still not safe to hang out inside a public building for very long, so we’re keeping seating to a minimum, limiting the amount of time anyone can use computers, and encouraging everyone to keep visits short. We absolutely love being the community’s living room and a place where everyone is welcome and allowed to be in the building without having to buy something or do something. We cannot wait until we can be that again!