Greetings from Durham County Library! We can probably all agree that 2020 has been a year we are not soon to forget. We have proven to be a resilient community and have demonstrated support for one another among all the uncertainty life has brought our way.
We continue to offer virtual programs for all ages and encourage you to join us on our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to enjoy the fun. We are still committed to our mission of encouraging discovery, connecting the community, and leading in literacy. Virtual programs are one way we can continue to fulfill our mission.
Yes, our brick and mortar locations remain closed, but we are now accepting the return of books at Main Library, Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Additionally, Library Take-Out! is available at various locations for pickup of hold items and return of items. Visit DurhamCountyLibrary.org/TakeOut for specific details. This service has been in effect since June 16, and admittedly we have a few challenges we are still working out. I appreciate your patience as we fine-tune necessary details. This task may seem simple from the outside looking in, but it’s a very involved, hands-on task that takes a great deal of time to execute. Our most recent count indicates nearly 12,000 items have been checked out, and nearly 7,000 items are on hold. That’s a lot of materials for staff to pull from the shelves and prepare for our customers to pick up.
The support from you, our community, continues to give me strength. I appreciate your calls and emails of support and suggestions. Your positive energy pushes us forward each day. We strive to make decisions based on CDC guidelines and in collaboration with the Durham County Health Department. I’m also in close contact with various library organizations such as Urban Libraries Council, North Carolina Public Library Directors Association, and the Public Library Association, to name a few. Regular conversations with these entities have proven to be a valuable resource. Library systems are at different phases in terms of what services they are offering to the community. All are trying to make decisions that are right for their communities and according to COVID-19 statistics. Safety continues to resonate as a top priority for staff and the community. I’ve had the good fortune of sharing our process with and learning from other library systems. Libraries are working more closely than ever to learn from one another and offer sound advice. I’ll continue to keep you informed of resources that we are able to provide.
We are committed to equal access and exceptional customer service to everyone. Our diverse community and our diverse staff make Durham County Library all the better. We have promoted virtual booklists that explore the impact of systemic racism. We are exploring virtual programs that can offer rich conversations within our community as it relates to race relations. Libraries are centers of dialogue that bring people together to celebrate our similarities and recognize our differences. The statements made by the Board of County Commissioners demonstrate the commitment of Durham County Government. I continue to consider our institution as a great equalizer and know that together, our vision of “Inspiring Lives, Transforming Durham” can be achieved.
May you continue to be safe, enjoy those you hold dear, and practice random acts of kindness. The world needs kindness now more than ever.