Garland libraries are reaching residents online during the coronavirus pandemic – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: August 12, 2020 at 3:46 am


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Different times: A digital board outside the Nicholson Memorial Library promotes a summer reading program in 2014.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, leaving people across the country stuck indoors, Garlands library system saw an opportunity to bridge a gap.

Kathleen Cizek, the public services administrator for the citys Nicholson Memorial Library System, says Garland libraries stepped up online programming and services and bulked up their digital holdings.

Weve been able to reach a much larger audience with our online programs, and hopefully that includes new viewers who realize all their Garland libraries have to offer them, Cizek said.

The library system offers programs, services and online readings for people of all ages and interests.

After the pandemic forced libraries to shut their doors to the public, library staffers sprung into action to transition in-person services and programs for virtual use.

The team worked tirelessly, first launching online story times on Facebook Live. On Fridays, for instance, the library holds family story time at 10:30 a.m.

The staff then focused on expanding special programs online, including yoga classes for youngsters and adults, the popular Pajama-rama story times in the evening, online craft courses and book clubs.

Other newly available programs include adulthood transition courses for teenagers and online performances for seniors.

Programs like online story time helped give kids and families a sense of normalcy amid a period of confusion and concern.

I think publishers and authors recognized that, too, Cizek said. Without their generous support allowing librarians everywhere the opportunity to use their books in online story times, we wouldnt have been able to use the books that kids know and love and take comfort in hearing their favorite librarian read to them.

Meanwhile, libraries worked to beef up their virtual holdings, including e-books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, videos and digital comic books.

Garland residents can register online for a library card, which makes it easier to access literature and other holdings in a time of social distancing.

These materials meet the demand of our patrons any time, but they were especially useful during the time the doors to our physical libraries were closed, Cizek said.

Libraries have since reopened at 25% capacity and are now operating with reduced hours, and the library system has instituted new measures aimed at protecting public health and supporting patrons.

Books are quarantined for at least 72 hours after being returned, and the libraries are not charging late fees for items that were returned after their due date because of the pandemic.

The libraries are also offering curbside pickup and returns, which helps keep in-person capacity down and promotes social distancing.

For more information about the current hours of operation at each branch, visit the Garland library systems website.

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Garland libraries are reaching residents online during the coronavirus pandemic - The Dallas Morning News

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August 12th, 2020 at 3:46 am

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