Your Library’s Response to the Pandemic
By Nicole Lane
From Issue 50: Summer 2021
Along with everyone else, the Gardiner Library has continually adapted over the past 16 months. As taxpayers, you provide the majority of our financial support. Consequently, it felt important to share how we evolved and served Gardiner during this time.
Library doors closed March 15, 2020 and within two weeks the entire staff was working from home. Our personal computers were remotely connected to the RCLS (Ramapo Catskill Library System) computers in order to complete library duties. We became (even more) available via email and started a weekly “by appointment” virtual librarian service and homebound delivery. The staff created virtual programs, curbside crafts/kits, cooking videos, a local history project, free virtual tutoring opportunities, and more. We stayed connected to you through social media and our weekly e-newsletter, feeling like a lifeline of sorts at times. We even had volunteers helping outdoors and now indoors as protocols have relaxed.
Curbside pick-up morphed into our pick-up window and by mid-June we were accepting items in our drop box (quarantined for 7 days upon return). RCLS fully reopened in September, making all items in the system available for check-out. Until the library doors were open, we provided curbside printing/faxing and photocopying as well as laptops for use outside with Wi-Fi networks and passwords posted on all doors.
With your help we even won a friendly competition amongst Ulster County libraries, collecting the most non-perishables for Helping Hands Food Pantry. We are excited for the next chapter as we welcome you back. Hope to see you in the library very soon.