Collegedale Public Library Adapts to Coronavirus Pandemic
COLLEGEDALE, Tenn (WDEF) – Collegedale Public Library has had a tough year – repairing tornado damage and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic; so they had to find ways to adapt.
The challenges began when the Easter Sunday tornadoes hit. The library lost much of its roof, allowing water to seep in and damage hundreds of books.
“We had a lot of water damage in this front corner. It has permeated many of our young adult books. It wasn’t just water. The ceiling tiles all got wet and disintegrated and there was this white goo stuck to everything. Once a book is molded into it, it’s impossible to stop it, ”explains Natalie Wright, director of the library.
Since the repairs, the library has received a $ 5,000 grant from the Weldon F. Osborne Foundation to help replace damaged books, but it still faces the limitations of the pandemic.
The library manager says teens can be the hardest demographic to get interested in library and reading, so they’ve been working to find unique ways to attract them again.
“We obviously try to involve the teenagers in the reading, but we also try to give them a little relief. We do online craft programs and started origami. We’re just trying to get them interested and get them involved in the library and give them something to do in the midst of a pandemic, ”says Zoe Grimes, Library Associate.
Since library shelves are close to each other, customers are not allowed to browse at this time and officials say this has caused payment rates to drop dramatically.
“People have asked us over and over again ‘when can I come and sail?’ They don’t feel like they can choose their book if they aren’t there to look at it. I feel really bad. I want people to take advantage of our other services and keep looking at books, but we’ve seen a drop in payments, ”says Wright.
The library still operates with limited services due to the pandemic, but residents can still check out books, movies, or craft kits through the website, at the edge of the street or even by phone.