LANSING – The Covid-19 pandemic has made libraries re-think their whole approach to community engagement and how they provide services to their patrons.
Covid-19 has the ability to easily spread on surfaces and through the air. This has raised major problems for many public services, especially a service like the library where the physical aspect of going and picking out a book or using a computer has become nearly impossible while trying to keep everyone safe. The Capital Area District Libraries are only available for curbside pick-up and limited computer use because of health and safety concerns for not only the staff, but the communities that the libraries serve.
“When books return they quarantine for 96 hours,” said Jill Abood, a community engagement specialist for the Capital Area District Libraries. This is an example of one of the safety measures put in place by the library so it can still provide its service and keep the community safe.
Andy Bourgeois, public service head at Capital Area District Libraries, has been working hard with his colleagues to make sure the library is still offering as many services as possible.
“One of the biggest challenges has been technology,” Bourgeois said. “It’s hard for a lot of people because the library is their main technology resource.”
The library has been adding more technology to its collection but has faced supply shortages and budget cuts.