BOTHELL, Wash. — Facing a new reality in school districts across the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, many support staff members and librarians are finding themselves adapting too.
In the Northshore School District, librarians are banding together to build a new book delivery service for students in remote learning.
"We are really thinking in new ways," said Colette Weber, teacher and librarian at Crystal Springs Elementary in Bothell. "And as librarians, we have found ourselves in some ways being a greater resource."
The system will allow books to get into the hands of students who can also request what they want to check out. The schools are also working with bus drivers, currently not transporting students, who will help deliver the books.
"We were really thankful we were able to come up with and do this in a way that’s safe for us and our students as well," said Weber.
With mounting budget cuts in the COVID-19 world nationwide, librarians are stretching their capabilities to become a useful resource. Many are turning to the internet for arts and crafts time or virtual storytelling according to a Public Library Association survey.
And digital book loans have skyrocketed, with children’s e-book checkouts more than doubling since the COVID-19 closures began, according to a report from NPR.
In Northshore, Weber and the other librarians know how important it is to keep the library system at full strength.
"Students interact differently with print material than they do with electronic materials," she said. "That will help turn them into lifelong readers which I think is every librarian's goal."