SAN ANGELO, Texas — For the past month due to COVID-19 concerns, all in-house services within the Tom Green County library system have been temporarily halted. Since then, employees have been working with other resources.
“Even though our doors are closed and that curbside service has gone, we’re still working really hard here,” Stephens Central Library community relations coordinator Amy Dennis explained. “All of our librarians are here and they’re doing some really great things, even though we don’t get to see all of our patrons.”
Employees have been utilizing social media and other online sources in order to draw in customers virtually.
“Our checkouts — like our book checkouts and physical item checkouts — have taken a nosedive because of the closure of the library,” Dennis said. “But what it has done for us is made us rely more heavily on our online resources such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and all the social media outlets including our website.”
The library system has realized a significant reduction in the amount of book and physical checkouts since the closure.
“As far as numbers go, we took a 90-percent dive over the last month because we’ve been closed,” Dennis said. “Normally we would check out almost 20,000 items a month—huge traffic.”
The library system responded using their online book sources to increase the amount of checkouts.
“We have a service that will provide audio and e-books for download,” Dennis said. “You can be at home, you can be on your device anywhere, download one of those audio or e-books for your Kindle, your phone, your laptop, or whatever you have. We’ve seen 10,000 of those audio and ebooks go out this month alone.”
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