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Calloway County Public Library Bounces Back Post-COVID

Calloway County Public Library
Calloway County Public Library
The Calloway County Public Library offers a variety of both in-person and online programming for the rest of 2021.

As COVID-19 restrictions lift across the state of Kentucky, community resources like public libraries are beginning to navigate post-pandemic operations. Sandy Linn, CCPL's collection development manager and community relations coordinator, speaks to Tracy Ross about how the library is bouncing back post-COVID.

Last spring, the Calloway County Public Library transitioned to the digital realm to better reach community members stuck in quarantine. "We worked really hard," Linn says. "We wanted to figure out a way for [patrons] to have physical books or do something fun online or have access to digital resources."

The library collaborated with online resources like Hoopla, Kanopy, and Udemy to offer e-books, audiobooks, music, films, and various classes.

While the digital resources were helpful under lockdown, Linn says that nothing can beat the traditional in-person format. "That we can serve patrons in any way makes us feel good," Linn says. "But of course, we love seeing patrons in the library. We love seeing the print books."

"If they're using the services, and we're helping them, and we're providing reading material and access to quality content for them, it's very satisfying. But nothing beats seeing people come in and joyfully pick out stacks of books to read. And if the numbers for our summer reading program are any indication, we have got, as always, a community full of readers of all ages."

Some patrons, Linn continues, have enjoyed exploring both physical and digital options. "I had one gentleman who told me that prior to COVID, he would've never thought that he would be an e-book or audiobook fan. He loved holding a print book." He has since become a digital convert, enjoying instant access to e-books and audiobooks in addition to holding the real thing.

Linn says that in-person programming is slowly but surely returning to the library. "We take a look and see what we can do with whatever guidelines we're given and the space that we have," she explains.

The library's summer programming includes a virtual Tails & Tales Summer Reading Program for kids ages 5 to 12. The program includes the option to participate in virtual activities using a Make and Take Craft Supply Bag, available for pickup at the library.

"We're looking forward to getting back into those awesome in-house programs," Linn says. "Our communities missed it. We missed it. We'll see what we can do for the fall."

Linn says that for the rest of 2021, the library will have to play things by ear. However, she looks forward to returning to a full year of programming in 2022.

For more information on the Calloway County Public Library, visit their website or Facebook page.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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