Like many other county agencies under coronavirus restrictions, the Sara Hightower Regional Library System has had to get creative with how it serves the citizens of Floyd and Polk counties.
Library Director Delana Sissel said the branches in Rome, Cave Spring, Rockmart and Cedartown closed in mid-March and have remained closed to the public ever since.
But, while people can’t check out any physical material from the library, they do have a wide range of digital content.
“Each year we try to enhance it so that’s certainly been a plus for us ... that we already had a good collection and that we were able to have that available for our patrons,” Sissel said.
The library has been promoting their digital services — which includes books, audiobooks and movies — through social media. They’ve also been purchasing more material for their online services as well.
To keep both staff and patrons safe, all book returns have stopped and late fees for books have been waived through July 1.
Despite the pandemic, library story time continues online. People can watch story time on the Rome-Floyd County Library Facebook page on Monday at 11 a.m., Tuesday at 3 p.m., Wednesday at 1 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
“On Fridays, we have a bilingual or Spanish story time as well,” Sissel said.
Sissel said other people have been reaching out to the library and asking to do their own classes on the Facebook page. Right now, they have someone doing cooking classes and another has offered to do crocheting classes as well.
While the libraries remain empty, the Rome-Floyd County Library on Riverside Parkway is having some renovations done for its three meeting rooms. County commissioners approved the funding during last week’s meeting and renovations have already begun. By the end, the rooms will have new carpeting and ceiling tiles.
The library director said the branches will reopen when the local governments give them the orders. Until then, they will continue providing digital services for their patrons.