We’ve written a lot on how you can support your local library. But what can you do when the library may be closed? Here are a few ways you can continue to support your public library during the pandemic.
Check out books.
Libraries rely on statistics such as books checked out to justify their existence and ask for more funding. Libraries that are closed to the public, however, may see decreased circulation numbers. Do the library a favor and check out some books via curbside pickup! Or check out some e-books!
Attend a virtual program.
As with books, libraries track their program statistics to justify their existence and ask for more funding. Show what kinds of programs you are interested in by attending some!
Does your library have a comment form? A survey? Show some library love by telling the staff what you like about the library and what you would love to see in future! This makes the library feel good because people are engaged, and it gives them something to point towards when writing grant proposals or otherwise trying to demonstrate their value for the community.
Libraries, like everyone else, are financially hurting right now. If you can, consider making a monetary donation. You may also consider donating books, but be aware that many libraries are not currently accepting books during the pandemic.
Share programs and updates via social media.
Even if you can’t attend a program, you can help spread awareness about programs and other library services on social media. If you aren’t already, consider following your library on the platform of your choice. Then “like” posts and share them with interested friends to help increase the library’s reach.
Share your library books, crafts, and more with your library on social media.
You don’t just have to share posts made by your library. If you made a pickup craft, asked for a blind book bundle, or participated in a virtual program, consider taking a picture of the results and then tagging your library. They’d probably be happy to share it!
Follow the rules.
If your library is open or partially open, follow any mask or social distancing rules they may have in place. The staff are just trying to keep the community safe and they would prefer to spend their time helping people find resources, rather than arguing with rule breakers. And, if you are sick, stay home! It’s tempting to want to borrow something to keep yourself occupied, but maybe you can send a friend instead?
Again, new library rules and restrictions may be annoying, but the staff on the floor didn’t write them. They are just the unlucky ones who have to enforce them. You may be upset that your library is still closed or that they are requiring masks or that they have browsing time limits. It would help everyone, however, if you could try to accept the rules with grace and, if necessary, complain politely to the relevant channels, rather than yelling at the staff on the floor.