Summertime and visits to the local library go hand in hand for many families. Kids clamor to the quaint building tucked between the trees at 2301 Daniel Island Drive to check out a stack of books for the summer, teens find a quiet corner to tackle their summer reading assignments, local groups reserve the meeting rooms to beat the heat, and book clubs buzz while discussing the latest best sellers.
The library looks a little different this summer. COVID-19 has forced the Berkeley County Library System (BCLS) to reevaluate its programs and adapt to this challenging time. Well-loved library traditions —“1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” story time, summer reading program, and book clubs — still play an integral role at the library, but now patrons participate digitally.
New activities have been introduced. According to Gene D. Brunson, library director, “The library is also offering a couple of nontraditional services for customers who may visit the library.”
• Book Bundles, which are pre-selected books on a specific reading level or subject. The three to five bundle of books are a quick and easy way to get reading material without spending a lot of time in the library.
• Grab-N-Go Craft Bags have different craft projects that children can take home and complete.
• Give Our Books New Looks is a program for third to fifth grade artists. Design a new cover or draw a scene from your favorite book during the months of July and August and enter to win a prize.
The Daniel Island Library reopened on June 1 with enhanced sanitization procedures and implemented social distancing guidelines from the CDC. Items returned to the library are quarantined for 72-hours and cleaned before being processed and re-shelved for
the next customer. Library spaces have reduced furniture and are arranged to promote social distancing. The number of available computers for use was reduced and computer usage is limited to two hours per day.
Per the City of Charleston ordinance, face coverings are required inside of the Daniel Island Library.
Meeting spaces are not available for reservation at this time. The rooms once designated for community gatherings are being used to store furniture and to quarantine the returned library items.
Curbside service is available. “Customers can place holds on items online or by calling the library. When the item is available for pickup, customers will receive an email or telephone call to schedule a day and time for curbside service,” Brunson explained.
The facility is planning to enhance WiFi coverage so it can be accessible from the library’s parking lot or outside benches.
“The library was recently awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the South Carolina State Library, for Broadband Expansion. The library will receive 20 WiFi Hotspots devices and 20 Chromebooks. The devices will be loaned to customers for two weeks. The devices will allow the library to address the digital divide and provide customers a way to access virtual programming offered by the library,” reported Brunson.