THE POST-SIGNAL / Desiray Seaux
The Crowley Rotary Club recently welcomed Ted Landry, Director of Acadia Parish Public Libraries. Landry discussed how the library has dealt with COVID-19.
Parish librarian: Staff has been creative during COVID-19 pandemic
CROWLEY - The many ways the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the parish library system and the methods staff used to cope with those issues were explained to members of the Rotary Club of Crowley recently
Ted Landry, parish librarian, was guest speaker for the club’s noon luncheon.
First, when the parish libraries were forced to close their doors to the public due to the pandemic, librarians at the various branches were staggering their schedules, according to Landry.
“It was over this time the librarians got creative and started video taping story time for the kids,” he said.
Landry recalled walking into the library one morning to find members of the staff in pajamas.
“I knew we weren’t open to the public and no one was coming in ... but pajamas?” he said.
He was told staff members were “in costume” to read bedtime stories via social media to reach out to the kids.
The staff also started making “craft bags” that could be picked up at the different branches and recording instructional videos explaining how to complete each craft.
Often the craft coincided with the book they had used for story time.
As the quarantine dragged on, many members of the community began reaching out to get library cards so they could download the digital books that the website offers.
“Our online collections of downloadable books is extensive,” Landry added.
Another way the libraries worked on reaching the public was to offer curb-side pick-up.
Under that program, anyone with a library card could call and reserve books with a designated pick up time. The staff would put the books outside to be picked up.
Finally, Landry said the library has been quarantining books for three days after drop off before the books can be recirculated in their collections.
New things happening at the library include extended Wi-Fi times at all locations to help students who may be needing to attend virtual school.
At the Crowley library, Wi-Fi is typically always on, according to Landry. At other branches — Rayne, Church Point, Morse, Estherwood, Mermentau and Iota — Wi-Fi is usually offered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Although the library doors are closed, we wanted to offer Wi-Fi access to students who may need it after hours,” Landry explained.
Next week, the library plans to launch digital archives of a multitude of old pictures from around the area.
The historic photo archives will be going online on Oct. 1.
“Our staff has been working hard digitizing beautiful photographs and uploading them to their new Digital Historic Photo Archives,” Landry said. “They are very excited about sharing the history photos with the public.”
Many of the photo have never been seen, he added.
To contact the Acadia Parish Libraries, call the main location at 337-788-1880.