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  • NYS Writers Institute

How much do you miss libraries?

Did you read Tresca Weinstein's story in today's Times Union, Libraries test new paths in measured re-openings? She begins:

If there’s one message that libraries around the region have received loud and clear during the past five months, it’s this: Their patrons like them. They really, really like them. And they’ve missed them more than they can say.

Remember the old days --

before March 13 or whenever it was things shut down -- when you could stroll through the stacks, attend a meeting with community-minded folks, or just sit in a comfy chair and read the newspapers? Tresca's story offers examples of ways local libraries are retooling to provide service even while we remain in this socially-distanced summer.

“I never thought, in 20 years in public libraries, that part of my job would be to look at infection rates every morning, but that’s where we’re at as an organization,” said Scott Jarzombek, director of the Albany Public Library.

Scott, who was featured here in a video interview on April 13, sees libraries successfully adapting to these quarantine times, with increased numbers of e-book borrowing and appointment-only curbside pickup.

The William K. Sanford Town Library in Colonie and the Saratoga Springs Public Library are both open by appointment and offer limited browsing. Check your local library site to see what they're doing. Here's a link to the member libraries of the Upper Hudson Library System and Mohawk Valley Library System.

AnnaLee Dragon, director of the Kinderhook Memorial Library, sees a positive in the midst of these turbulent times. She told the Times Union: "I’ve also seen a definite uptick in nonfiction books about social change. It’s heartening to see the desire to focus on what can be done to improve our world at a time when we feel like so much is out of our control."

Questions for you, dear reader: Have you been to your local library lately? What do you miss most about your hometown library?


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