The fish are being fed, the plants looked after, and the dropbox checked daily at the Corrales Library, even if villagers cannot enter to snatch up Hilary Mantel’s final book about poor dear Thomas Cromwell, or snag a DVD of an old Fred and Ginger flick.

Technical Services boss, Brynn Cole, wants to assure us that one library staffer stops by each day. Still, “we all are working remotely but have weekly staff meetings via Zoom, which allows us to brainstorm and plan as best we can for this uncertain future.”

Otherwise, Cole is answering your emails about tech issues, and can help you navigate Overdrive, the portal for accessing e-books and audio books to download onto your phone or tablet. She will also chat with you via email, if you want to connect with another human.

Said Cole, “I have been getting emails from people, some have been for tech help and some have been just people reaching out to connect.”

With her colleagues at the library, Cole started a YouTube channel in order to provide a new platform to get programs and resources out to the public. “We are still working out some of the kinks with it, so hopefully we will have a lot more to offer there soon.” Youth Services person Melisa Chandler has been reading to kids on You Tube, and also showing off some recently acquired baby chicks, which may or may not become part of the Children’s Garden project at the library. The channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1VPdpbdxUhBhRCx0LWYLNQ

Cole hopes that people will send her “short videos of themselves to post, sharing something they've been doing or learning during this period of isolation that they think others in the community would be interested in.”

She expects that “we can get this project up and running to allow people to share and interact safely. People are creating and exploring amazing things despite these trying times.” She is keen for everyone “to stay engaged with the community.”
“At the Shelter in Place Library page, we are trying to put up useful resources that people can use remotely, dealing with schooling, unemployment resources, things to do, including filling out census forms, and COVID19 updates. I add things to the page as I find them or people send them to me, so it's an ongoing project.”

In fact, if you don’t yet have a library card, as long as your Corrales address is verifiable, you can sign up for a virtual one. The library’s Saturday Stitch Club now has a social media presence, CCL Saturday Stitch on Facebook.

Cole is pleased that the library is getting a T-Mobile mobile hotspot set up this week, to provide internet access to people that usually rely on the library for that, and for anyone else who might need it. “We will be setting up in parking lots and public spaces so that people can use the internet in places where they can also maintain social distancing and other safety norms.” With the ongoing economic hardships resulting from the pandemic, Cole expects the number of potential users will rise.

“We are also working on getting some other programs up and running,” she added, and there was a hint from the mayor during the Village Council teleconference that this might include card holders ordering library books online, and picking them up in the parking lot.

Primarily, Cole suggested, “we all are working to find solutions to provide library materials and resources to the public during the lock-down and even into the future, when libraries likely are going to be more important than ever before.”
Reach brynn@corraleslibrary.org.

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