WAHOO – The Wahoo Public Library is open for business, sort of. For the duration of the time period Saunders County is under the state’s Directed Health Measure (DHM), the library has still been operating for patrons.
“We feel our job is to help keep people sane during this tumultuous time,” said Youth Services Coordinator Carrie Trutna, “providing our community with opportunities to grow their minds and relieve the boredom in creative ways is our new normal.”
Trying to keep connections with the community is one of the goals of the library staff.
“We are truly missing those day to day interactions with our patrons. For some of our patrons, we may be the only human contact they have that day,” Denise Lawver, library director, said. “This is the first time in over 90 years of service to the Wahoo community, that our library has been closed to the public for more than a week.”
Community connections are important for all the staff.
“I miss the patrons. Greeting them, helping them, and just seeing their faces daily,” said Janet Maly, librarian assistant.
Mary Peterson, library aid, shared that sentiment, “whether they’re on the computer, or newspaper readers, or any age of patrons who come in for checkouts, I just miss them.”
The staff has been creative in their approach to helping patrons.
“We have had many new interactions with our patrons in various ways, we learned how to do pseudo sign-language through the window, speak to them through the book drop and answered countless phone calls,” said Lawver.
Trutna began doing story time videos on St. Patrick’s Day and soon added Lawver as a co-reader with special guests including Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz and Wahoo Police Chief Bruce Ferrell. They are planning on having more guest readers.
“Our Facebook page has been a godsend,” said Trutna. “That’s where we post our videos and have the most interaction with our patrons right now. We’ve been able to reach people around the globe who are also looking for new connections.”
The list of services the library is currently providing, includes curbside pickups; delivery within the city limits of Wahoo; Wi-Fi services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; printing/faxing; downloadable e-books/audiobooks with a valid library card; free online databases/educational resources in their online catalog; free book cart; library card sign up and halting fines.
“The people of this community look towards the library for help getting though this difficult time whether it’s free books or online access. And we owe it to the community to be here for them. They’ve given us a great facility to work in and job security. We are here to serve you,” responded Kim Kruce, library aid.
Items available for checkout include books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDS, CDs, puzzles (kids and adult) and educational toys.
For more information on these services please call the library at 402-443-3871.