For our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, we spoke with Walnut Cove Library Branch Manager Christine Boles about their continued efforts to provide services for citizens in the area.
How has COVID19 affected Walnut Cove Library?
“When we closed on Friday, March 27, 2020, we closed our doors to the public until further notice. Closing the library that Friday afternoon was a surreal experience and one that left me feeling very confused as to how we would handle this new way of life and work.”
Christine thought, “how would we still meet our community’s needs and what about all the people who call Walnut Cove Public Library their “home away from home?”
“Walnut Cove Public Library is like many small-town libraries when it comes to family. We have many patrons we consider family to us and we are just as concerned about them as we would be our own families. Working in a small-town library allows us to really get to know people and what is happening in their lives. So many of our patrons have used the library since they were small children and now we see their children using the library. Many of our senior citizens we see every week and we spend a great deal of time working with them to find new books for them to read.”
“Then, there are those few individuals like myself, Assistant Branch Manager Chelsea Russell, and Programs Assistant Kristin Fulp who grew up using the Walnut Cove Public Library and now work there.”
How will the Walnut Cove Library continue services?
We are making many plans for how we can best serve everyone during the summer months. Currently, the staff at Walnut Cove is working diligently on our Summer Learning Program.
We will still have a program for our children, but it will be different in many ways.
1: We will have both paper reading logs and an online recording site for our participants to record their reading time and we will still have prizes at the end of the summer.
The State Library of North Carolina is currently working on an online reading recording website that we will be able to share very soon.
2: We are working on printed and online packets to hand out and share with our participants. The library staff is deciding how to get those printed packets to everyone since we may not be able to open to the public for a while. We do not want to exclude anyone who does not have access to the internet.
3: Our performers will be doing online programs for us to share with all families. These programs will be available for everyone to view! Sadly, there will be no in-house programs this summer.
4: Also, we will be videoing science experiments, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) projects, and filming educational videos that our children can follow along at home.
Christine says, “if you have any suggestions on how we can best serve your needs during Summer Learning, we would be happy to hear them.”
⇒You can reach the Walnut Cove Library on their Facebook page, via phone 336-591-7496 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org⇐
Another service we want to add this summer is our Back to Basics videos. This is a first for Walnut Cove and we are excited to add this to our services! We are planning to do several how-to videos for everyone.
We are currently working on fishing techniques, starting your own garden, and learning how to crochet.
These are staff hobbies, but we want to hear from our customers what they would like to learn.
We have several suggestions already including canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, sewing, and seasonal crafts.
Eventually, we plan to take our show on the road to visit businesses and places of interest in Stokes County.
“What is something positive, or uplifting, that you have experienced during COVID19?”
The most positive aspect taken from this whole experience is the library staff has an even greater understanding of how valuable our public libraries truly are to their community and how much our hard work and dedication will have to continue at an even higher level to help see our community through this pandemic. We know COVID19 will be a part of our lives for many months and possibly years to come and it has taught all of us the value of human life.
In addition, we think of what we must do as community helpers to keep our citizens happy, safe, and well-informed.
There is not a day goes by if I am out in Walnut Cove, that someone tells me how ready they are for the library to open back up. Everyone is in full agreement that they greatly miss our doors being open.