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Special to the Enquirer Michelle Blaylock shelves books at the William Bradford Huie Library of Hartselle. The library is still finding ways to serve the community while adjusting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Library continues to serve patrons during pandemic

For Michelle Blaylock, it is vital, now more than ever, to engage the minds of children and keep them learning. Blaylock is the library manager of the William Bradford Huie Library of Hartselle, and she and her staff are hard at work to adjust to the ongoing pandemic while continuing to serve the community.  

Library staff May 7 began offering free curbside pickup that will operate Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

“We’re already having a really good response,” Blaylock said. “We’ve had multiple patrons tell us how glad they are to have access to books and resources again. 

Blaylock said virtual resources are also available to help parents with schooling their children while schools are closed. “We have 45 digital access sites helping with schooling, in addition to the books patrons can check out, she said.  

It takes about 24 hours to be able to check out a title, and Blaylock said books are sanitized and held for 48 hours after they are returned.  

Requests for books, which must include title, author and the requester’s phone number, can be emailed to ppoe@hartselle.org 

“We ask anyone who participates in this program to still respect social distancing guidelines,” Blaylock said. “We will also have grabandgo bags for people that include multiple books and resources.  

Blaylock said plans for the summer reading program are still being discussed. “It will obviously look different this year, and we’re trying to figure out how to still provide a program now,” she said.  

With children being educated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Blaylock added it is even more important to keep children engaged during the school year and this summer.  

“Our goal is to provide children with books, tools and resources they wouldn’t otherwise have at their disposal,” she said. “It is not unusual for a child to lose a grade level of reading capability during the summer if they don’t read and practice. It could be a tough start to next school year, especially this year.” 

For more information, call the William Bradford Huie Library at 256-773-9880.  

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