For Carolyn Garner, the Goochland County librarian, some of the drop in visits may have been due to the upheavals in people’s lives trying to return to some semblance of normalcy.
Garner pointed out that the numbers are rising in Goochland – the store has seen over 15,500 visits so far this year, compared to 13,478 last year – and added that it has even better days ahead of it.
âI’m sure there will be some changes in the future,â said Garner, âbut I doubt they will last forever. As soon as things start in the evening and we have more personal programs and other activities, I think the numbers will go up again. “[Goingforward”Garnersaid”butIdoubttheywilllastforeverOncethingsstarteveningoutandwehavemorein-personprogramsandotheractivitiesIthinkthenumberswillstartcomingbackup”[goingforwardâGarnersaidâbutIdoubttheywilllastforeverOncethingsstarteveningoutandwehavemorein-personprogramsandotheractivitiesIthinkthenumberswillstartcomingbackupâ
It is also important to note, Shepley said, how much local libraries have been able to do despite – and because of – the impact of COVID-19.
While a number of programs have been severely restricted or suspended, the stores offer customers the option of picking up materials from the roadside, as well as checking internet hotspots and Chromebooks.
This month, the Pamunkey Regional Library system also partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to provide free COVID-19 antigen testing kits for the home (see story on page 7).
The project, which had already distributed 350 tests by last week, is expected to be available by the end of December.