NowComment
2-Pane Combined
Comments:
Full Summaries Sorted

In The Age of Coronavirus, Libraries Are Getting Books Into People’s Hands — Without Touching

Author: Elizabeth Pandolfi

Pandolfi, Elizabeth. In The Age of Coronavirus, Libraries Are Getting Books Into People’s Hands — Without Touching.

0 General Document comments
0 Sentence and Paragraph comments
0 Image and Video comments


Countless public libraries, just like so many schools, government offices and businesses across the country, are closed to the public for the foreseeable future to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

New Conversation
Paragraph 1 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:24PM) : Starts the argument by reminding people that the pandemic is serious by talking about how even schools and government buildings are shut down.
profile_photo
Feb 5
Sarah James (Feb 05 2021 2:45PM) : The pandemic has caused multiple businesses to shut down due to lack of financial support, additionally, the economy is failing. What financial impact have libraries faced, and have there been any proposed solutions?
New Conversation
Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

And that, of course, means that librarians are working quickly to identify and innovate the best ways to continue serving their patrons.

New Conversation
Paragraph 2 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 2, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Live-streaming, increasing audiobook and ebook access, and hosting book discussions on social media are all methods that many of us probably think of most immediately — but online services aren’t the only thing that librarians are turning to in this unusual time.

New Conversation
Paragraph 3 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 3, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“We are going to enhance our web presence and increase our outreach on social media,” says Alyson Jones, director of Altoona, Wisconsin’s Altoona Public Library. “But sometimes there’s no substitute for a good old-fashioned library book.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 4 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 4, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 4, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The question is how to get those library books into patrons’ hands, while still supporting social distancing and public health containment efforts?

New Conversation
Paragraph 5 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:41PM) : Good use of rhetorical questions in order to anticipate the questions they'll be asked.
New Conversation
Paragraph 5, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

In Altoona, a town of about 8,000 people, Jones and her small staff of three full-time and eight part-time employees are brainstorming the best ways to do that.

New Conversation
Paragraph 6 0
profile_photo
Feb 5
Sarah James (Feb 05 2021 2:47PM) : Libraries aren't considered "essential". During the beginning of the pandemic, did the staff of libraries face significant financial challenges? What did the government do?
New Conversation
Paragraph 6, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Typically, the library offers a home delivery service, which sees Jones or another of her staff hand-delivering books to homebound residents. This service, however, is temporarily halted due to public health concerns.

New Conversation
Paragraph 7 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 7, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 7, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“A lot of our home delivery is to assisted living centers, and starting late last week they tightened up their restrictions on who could come in,” Jones says. “There’s a combination of the public health concern for our patrons, and concern for us about sending workers into homes where there’s potentially contamination.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 8 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 8, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 8, Sentence 2 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:26PM) : Once again mentioning health concerns for both the elderly they deliver to and the librarians delivering the books in order to add gravity to the situation. Basically, people could get sick and possibly die if we do this.
profile_photo
Feb 5
Mark Monette (Feb 05 2021 2:42PM) : This adds urgency to the matter. It gives a reason why such practices should be adopted.

Something Jones is considering instead is curbside book pickup, in which patrons could contact the library through email or another system and request the books they want. Then library staff could pack them up and have them waiting for the patron to pick up at the door, so there’s no personal contact.

New Conversation
Paragraph 9 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 9, Sentence 1 0
profile_photo
Feb 5
Sarah James (Feb 05 2021 2:48PM) : My local library has been doing curbside pick. It has been effective.
New Conversation
Paragraph 9, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

This is an option that several other library systems are either implementing for the first time, like the San Diego Public Library (this service was quickly halted when Californians were ordered to shelter in place) or expanding, like the Vestavia Hills library in Alabama, and the Boise Public Library in Idaho, both of which had existing curbside programs available already.

New Conversation
Paragraph 10 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:29PM) : Partial solution: it is not sustainable if there is a strict lock down, but it probably is helpful for places where there is less caution used when dealing with COVID. [Edited]
New Conversation
Paragraph 10, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Another option is a books-by-mail system, which many libraries, especially rural ones, also already have in place.

New Conversation
Paragraph 11 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 11, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

These books-by-mail systems traditionally serve residents who either live too far away from a library location to patronize it regularly, or who have a physical or medical condition that prevents them from visiting the library.

New Conversation
Paragraph 12 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:38PM) : Uses past cases of people not being able to go to the library regularly in order to offer up a solution to this similar problem. more

This thought process establishes credibility because it means that they looked over their previous cases in order to find the best possible scenario.

New Conversation
Paragraph 12, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

This means books-by-mail programs often serve seniors and the medically vulnerable, and that could present problems if it appears the virus can be easily spread by mail (currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the virus seems to spread most readily through person-to-person contact, with spread through contaminated surfaces possible but less likely).

New Conversation
Paragraph 13 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:33PM) : Another solution that can be implemented a bit more liberally to places, even ones that are on lock down. more

Still runs the risk of infecting people at the senior home through the money, but it is far less likely than when an employee is leaving a pile of books at the senior home office or on their porch.

profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:34PM) : Anticipates that people will ask if it's safe to mail things and if it will put those who have a high chance of getting (the elderly in this case) at risk. [Edited]
New Conversation
Paragraph 13, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

One outlier, however, is the Orange County Public Library, which has 17 locations in and around Orlando, Florida. Since the early 1970s, this library system has served any county resident with a library card with its books-by-mail program, called Materials Access from Your Library, or MAYL.

New Conversation
Paragraph 14 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 14, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 14, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The reason for its broad availability is simple, says Mike Donohue, the library’s community outreach coordinator. “My understanding is that it was done simply to offer a greater level of service and convenience to our customers.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 15 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 15, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 15, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

And those customers are embracing this service even more now that the library locations are closed. Library staff announced on March 17 that the libraries would close temporarily at the end of business that day. Starting that same day, requests for books by mail have been at least double, and sometimes triple, what they are typically.

New Conversation
Paragraph 16 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 16, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 16, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 16, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

According to Donohue, a regular weekday might see 1,100 to 1,300 requests. On March 17, requests topped 3,300; on March 18, there were 3,076; and on March 19, 2,705.

New Conversation
Paragraph 17 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:44PM) : statistics that show that between 1,100 to 3,300 people want this service provided to them and they are not wasting time..
New Conversation
Paragraph 17, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 17, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

So far, library card holders haven’t been very vocal regarding fears over spreading the virus through contact with library books. “We have not heard any concerns from our customers about spreading the virus through books or other items that are being delivered,” Donohue says. “We’ve seen a significant amount of support from customers on social media thanking us for continuing to provide this service during a trying time … the measurable increase in demand is also evidence of its value.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 18 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 1 0
profile_photo
Feb 5
Henry Poppe (Feb 05 2021 11:24AM) : After what we know now about the virus this is even less prevalent because it does not spread from touch it is just spread through the air.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

One interesting consideration that every library still lending physical books — whether by mail or through pickup — has to take into account is that with due dates extended almost universally, they won’t be able to fulfill every patron’s request.

New Conversation
Paragraph 19 0
profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:48PM) : anticipates any backlash they might receive and provides an apologize beforehand a
New Conversation
Paragraph 19, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“In the last two days we were open, we checked out 3,200 items,” Jones says. “That’s basically half a month’s worth of items in two days. In some ways it’s gratifying, because it shows how much people value library services … but right now, we have what we have, and if someone calls and says do you have the latest James Patterson, the answer is probably no, we don’t. But if you want to rely on a librarian to pick out five mysteries for you, give us a call.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 20 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 3 0
profile_photo
Feb 5
Henry Poppe (Feb 05 2021 11:25AM) : This reminds me of so many places that over the past year have always been out of things due to a lack in supply and an increase in demand.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

DMU Timestamp: November 12, 2020 20:50

General Document Comments 0
Start a new Document-level conversation

profile_photo
Feb 4
Lisa Kasabyan (Feb 04 2021 12:50PM) : Not the most complex argument/essay but it does have all the parts required, middle of the road kind of argument. [Edited]
Image
0 comments, 0 areas
add area
add comment
change display
Video
add comment

Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

Logging in, please wait... Blue_on_grey_spinner