If you visited the Crozet Library on March 16—the last day it was open before the entire Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) system closed down until further notice—you would have seen long lines at the circulation desk and patrons leaving the building carrying towering stacks of books to help them weather the period of self-quarantine that we are all still enduring.
According to Branch Manager Hayley Tompkins, “at the current moment, we are closed until further notice due to Governor Northam’s Stay at Home order. Once we do have a firm reopen date, we will likely step down through the tiered plan outlined on our website at www.jmrl.org/covid19.html. But we won’t know yet when that will be or what that will look like.”
The JMRL system is currently operating at Tier 5. Most JMRL staff are working from home; Tompkins visits the library a few times a week to return phone messages and check in materials. However, all materials that were due in March will now be due two weeks after the library reopens, and patrons are encouraged to keep their items until then to avoid further spread.
But never fear! Many library services are continuing virtually, including online resources like downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, streaming video via the new kanopy film service, and databases; reference services with staff via phone, chat, and email (see jmrl.org); virtual programs like book clubs, teen programming, and virtual presentations; social media posts with storytime videos and daily boredom busters; blog posts with great resources for community members like job and unemployment information, bullet journaling, and booklists of digital content. And don’t forget that the Crozet Library’s Wi-Fi can be accessed from the parking lot!
The Crozet Library Monday Night Book Group held a lively Zoom discussion of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly on April 6. Ten members attended, and they are hoping for even more participation for their May 6 discussion of Educated by Tara Westover. The book club plans to continue meeting on the first Monday of each month from 7 to 8:30 pm, via Zoom until the library reopens. On June 1, they will discuss Roar of the Heavens by Stefan Bechtel with a visit from the author, and on July 6, Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. If you care to join, send an email to [email protected]
The Zoom videoconferencing platform can be used on a computer, tablet, or phone, with or without video. All you have to do is click on the email invitation you receive and follow the instructions to download the app or activate the website. The security issues that Zoom encountered earlier this year have been corrected with several updates. Nominations for next year’s Crozet Library Book Group reading list were due May 1.