Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) purchased two million at-home COVID-19 testing kits with the intent to make these rapid testing kits available and accessible in every Ohio county. The ODH worked together with the Ohio Library Council (OLC) to increase their reach, and soon public libraries began offering the free tests all over Ohio.
Today, the Delaware County District Library (DCDL) is happy to announce that we will join the list of more than 130 Ohio public libraries to distribute at-home COVID-19 testing kits. Public libraries play a critical role in many individuals’ day-to-day lives, but we’ve been asked to step up in many more ways during this COVID-19 pandemic. Testing alone is not going to end the pandemic, but DCDL can help make the kits easily accessible to our community and fight the spread where we can.
In order for a person to receive a test kit, they will need to go to any Delaware County District Library location (in Delaware, Orange Township, Powell and Ostrander) and pull into a curbside pickup space or the drive-up window. They can follow the directions on the signs to call in to the branch and make a request for a COVID testing kit. DCDL staff will deliver the kit along with a link to instructions, and individuals can be on their way to test at home.
Tests may not be completed in a DCDL building, and library staff may not assist beyond handing out the free tests. A QR code and link will be found on a corresponding piece of paper, and the directions can be followed to complete the test or use the testing app.
Abbott Labs, the maker of the tests, provides a free app called NAVICA that includes step-by-step instructions to both take the test and register the results. It also provides access to health professionals who can help interpret results. The Delaware Public Health District is another local resource that can offer assistance.
The Delaware County District Library continues to ask that patrons with COVID-19 symptoms, or those who are feeling ill, refrain from entering the library. If customers are ill, experiencing symptoms, or been exposed to someone that is ill or experiencing symptoms, they should not come to the library to get a kit, but instead, send a family member or friend to pick up the test kit. We look forward to adding this to our list of services as one more way that we can help our community. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
This week, we explore new books in the Nature and Science genres. From Katherine Johnson of “Hidden Figures” fame to the life of a fly, I hope you discover something new.
• “Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects” by Jonathan Balcombe. A biologist makes an argument for admiring the oft-misunderstood order Diptera, explaining the roles of flies in pollination, waste disposal, and the food web. For example, did you know that the aptly named Chocolate Midge is the sole pollinator of the cacao plant? All chocolate lovers owe these flies a debt of gratitude. Facts like these and more in this entertaining, scientific read.
• “It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything” by Kate Biberdorf. A chemist breaks down the role that chemistry plays in everyday life, from what makes dough rise to how coffee boosts energy. Head back to high school with this refresher on the basics of chemistry and a witty and engaging approach to the more complex topics.
• “My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir” by Katherine Johnson. An African American mathematician chronicles her life and career as a “human computer,” performing complicated calculations that were vital to the success of the U.S. space program. Read it for Katherine Johnson’s richly detailed personal account of historical events including the Second World War, the Civil Rights movement, and the space race.
• “Diary of a Young Naturalist” by Dara McAnulty. A year in the life of a 16-year-old climate activist, who appreciates the nature of his Northern Ireland home while dealing with everyday teenage life. The lyrical descriptions of our fragile biosphere are paired with candid writing about the complexities of life as an autistic person. Dara McAnulty is the youngest recipient of the Wainwright Prize for UK nature writing and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for conservation.
• “Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain – And How They Guide You” by Rebecca Schwarzlose. A neuroscientist details how the collection of “maps” – interconnected neurons that transmit signals – in our brains allows humans to interpret and interact with the world. Read accessible descriptions of the scientific breakthroughs, like those that allow people with paraplegia to control prosthetics through thought and people in apparent vegetative states to communicate using mental images.
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 www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!