While the Wellington Public Library has been closed during the Stay-At-Home orders issued by Gov. Kelley, it has continued to provide services, digitally.
“We’re trying to offer as many programs as we can, virtually,” WPL director Jo Plumb said.
Chelsea McNeil has continued to read children’s books for the library’s “story time” through Facebook Live, and the Dungeons and Dragons group has continued to meet, virtually.
“We’ve had a good following,” Plumb said. “Of course, the numbers are not what they would be if people were coming into the library.”
Only the library Book Club has been inactive during the shutdown because most of the members are seniors who do not have computers, Plumb said.
The biggest change to come to the library since the shutdown has been the increase in people checking out Kindle ebooks, which previously was more rare, Plumb said.
Also, people have been able to get virtual library cards and have access to the state library website at Sunflower e-library, more easily since the shutdown, Plumb said.
Plumb is hoping the library will build some new patrons as a result of the shutdown.
She does not know when the library will be reopened. There are things the WPL will have to do before that happens. The library staff, wearing gloves and masks, will wipe off books, with Hydrogen Peroxide - something they always do with returned books. The books will be quarantined and placed in rubber totes for 72 hours.
“We’re sure there will be other safety measures,” Plumb said. “We’re still waiting on guidance from the American Library Association.”
There will also be limits on crowd sizes and computers, which are close together now, will have to be spread apart in the library for social distancing. A poll was taken by the library and people responded that they missed the computer service as well as the fax, copier and notary services at the library.
“I think many people miss being able to browse,” Plumb said.