Libraries finding ways to adapt


“In This Together” has become the tagline of the COVID-19 experience. Libraries have always been known as the community’s living room. We encouraged folks to gather together and explore a new hobby, indulge curiosity, and get to know their neighbors. Though our doors are closed, we are finding that public libraries are still serving their communities in creative and beautiful ways. Not only are we “in this together” with our neighbors nearby, but we’re in it with our fellow public libraries across the state.

The Ohio Library Council recently polled Ohio’s public library directors and found that many libraries are rapidly changing and adapting to launch virtual programs, expand digital collections, and keep Ohioans connected with internet access.

The Muskingum County Library System is taking a unique approach to its storytimes by having youth librarians read bedtime stories to the community on local radio stations. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County hosted a single virtual storytime that drew more than 3,000 participants.

Our friends at the Elyria Public Library loaned iPads to a local nursing home so residents could continue to read online and stay connected with their families.

There are currently 25 library systems, including the Delaware County District Library, using their 3D printers to make components for face shields and masks. This has also resulted in some new partnerships between libraries and our health and emergency services organizations.

Finally, with schools closed, more libraries have become drive-thru or pick-up locations for grab-and-go meals. The Columbus Metropolitan Library partnered with the Children’s Hunger Alliance to distribute food at three library locations.

Children in Delaware County are being provided for through the United Way of Delaware County and the Delaware County Hunger Alliance. A comprehensive list is available at the United Way’s website detailing how each school district is reaching their community to provide breakfasts and lunches.

In related news, this coming week is National Library Week. It’s a holiday that we would usually celebrate with daily reminders of those who work so hard to make your public library a place for you. The best way that you can show us your love this year is to keep supporting us online, whether it’s through digital downloads, streaming services, giving us a “thumbs up” on social media, or telling us why you love your library.

To celebrate National Library Week, here are some titles that our Delaware Library staff are reading at home.

• “We Ride Upon Sticks” by Quan Barry. Nearly three centuries after their coastal community’s witch trials, the women athletes of the 1989 Danvers Falcons hockey team combine individual and collective talents with 1980s iconography to storm their way to the state finals.

• “Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore. A young woman destined to wake up on her birthday to a random year in her life struggles through an out-of-order existence to reconcile her inner youth with the realities of shifting external identities, appearances and period norms.

• “Network Effect” by Martha Wells. When Murderbot’s human associates are captured and need its help, it must choose between inertia and drastic action, in this first, full-length standalone novel about a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction.

• “Spillover” by David Quammen. Published in 2012, “Spillover” examines the emergence and causes of new diseases all over the world, describing a process called “spillover” where illness originates in wild animals before being passed to humans and discusses the potential for the next huge pandemic.

• “Hunter” by Mercedes Lackey. A debut entry of a series set in a futuristic world centuries after civilization has been destroyed by Otherworld monsters finds teenager Joy Charmand, who has been a Hunter since she was a child, struggling to protect the non-magic citizens in her tight-knit mountain community against dangerous Othersiders and corrupt leaders.

• “Himself” by Jess Kidd. When he discovers that his mother may not have given him up, but that foul play may have led to her disappearance, lovable car thief and Dublin charmer Mahony returns to the rural Irish village where he was born to find out what really happened 26 years ago and, setting the town on its ear, enlists the help of a brash anarchist and retired theater actress to solve this mystery.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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