The Marshall Public Library has adjusted to new terrain, serving the community while not allowing residents inside its doors to avoid increasing the spread of COVID-19.
The library is making its presence felt on social media and has made a larger investment in eBooks since closing down on March 16.
“Libraries are incredibly important to communities,” Marshall administrative assistant Cresta Craner said. “We want our community to know that even while the building is closed, their library is still here for them and providing all the resources that they possibly can.”
Among ways it's remaining visible, Marshall’s librarians are continuing to do story time for preschoolers and kindergarteners multiple times a week, capturing videos of themselves reading books aloud from their homes and posting them on the library’s Facebook page.
Residents can still put their library cards to use, accessing a larger assortment of eBooks than before as the library has put more funds toward that since its closure. The eBooks and eAudiobooks can be assessed on the cloudLibrary and Libby apps.
The Idaho Commission for Libraries also offers 150 online databases, which are useful for research purposes.
The Marshall Public Library continues to offer a free subscription to Kanopy.com, a video streaming app to watch movies and documentaries.
People can access the library’s Wi-Fi from its parking lot.
Residents are asked to not return library books in their possession. No late fees will be enforced at this time.
Craner does not know when the library will reopen. Employees are usually not even at the building during this juncture.
‘We have patrons we see every single day, so we miss them and can’t wait to see them again,” Craner said. “So it’s hard. We know this is the right step to keep our community safe.”
Craner said she personally loves having the physical copy of a book and curbside pickup was considered before the library decided against it.
“Ultimately, we felt like it was more important to keep the public safe – not out,” Craner said. “And also, the interchange of materials raises concerns too, so someone borrowing a book that has been in someone else’s home.”