From The Tribune staff reports
LEEDS — The concern for public health during the COVID-19 pandemic caused Leeds Jane Culbreth Library (LJCL) to temporarily close its doors in March of this year. Since then, library cardholders have been discovering the versatility of today’s public library.
“The librarians have cultivated fresh, exciting ways of bringing the library to its cardholders,” said Melanie A. Carden, the city of Leeds Library Director.
The LJCL is more than a building containing books. Between the months of April & May, over 3,200 digital books, audiobooks, movies, music and more were checked out through the Libby and Hoopla Digital apps, according to Carden.
“As of June 1st, LJCL began offering curbside service, which has led to 3,978 items being circulated in and out of the building so far,” Carden said. “With just three active employees on the premises at this time, this equates to an average of 1,326 items handled per employee. Due to this amount of activity, LJCL has remained one of the top 10 most popular libraries in Jefferson County.”
In addition to starting their curbside service, LJCL began its annual Summer Reading program on June 1st. This year’s program is available online through the Beanstack app, which was funded by State Representative Dickie Drake. Since the program began, 147 people have signed up to participate and have logged an impressive 83,500 minutes of reading time. These participants can then earn “tickets” for the number of minutes read or online activities completed, which can then be added to drawings for prizes, such as gift cards to local restaurants and Publix. Winners will be contacted at the conclusion of the program.
With school right around the corner, LJCL hopes to continue offering educational assistance to those without broadband internet or a home computer. Librarians are available for contactless printing, copying, and faxing services.
“Also, we’d like to remind everyone that our public wi-fi network is available 24/7 and the signal can reach outside the building, Carden added. “We encourage you to use the wi-fi signal from our outdoor table, bench, or parking spaces.
“During these uncertain times, remember that your friends at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library are here for you,” said Carden.
If you have questions, need assistance, you can call the library at (205) 699-5962 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding The City of Leeds, its position on COVID-19, and the reopening of city facilities, call (205) 699-2585 or visit www.leedsalabama.gov.