Woodworth Library has temporarily closed its facility to the general population, but its mission of serving the community continues.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility is currently only open to active duty service members. Nevertheless, library staff are working around the clock to ensure no patrons are forgotten.
One example of how Woodworth Library “remains open” to the community is through its celebration of Children’s Book Week, which runs Monday through Thursday. This year’s theme is, “Read, Dream, Share.”
“The main purpose is to spread childhood literacy awareness and encourage more children to read,” said Caroline Reed, Woodworth librarian.
To celebrate, Woodworth Library staff have selected different themes/ books for each day of the week and will have correlating craft kits available. For example, one of the day’s themes takes place on Arbor Day and will feature Johnny Appleseed.
“The craft kit for that is the parts of a tree, so they’ll have the leaves, the branches, and they get to label each part,” said Yadira Payne, Woodworth Library director.
Then on the designated theme’s day, a recorded video of the book being read will be available for patrons to view – at their convenience – on the library’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. Along with reading the book, the staff will show a sample, completed project for viewers to see.
Kits will be available for pickup from the library. Payne said that only active-duty service members will be permitted to pick up craft kits.
“We hate to turn [families] away or tell them they can’t come into the library … but if the active duty member can swing by, show us their ID, and tell us which kit they’re wanting, we’ll give it to them,” Payne said.
Craft kit distribution information , including pickup times, will be available on the Fort Gordon MWR Woodworth Library Facebook page. Patrons may also call the library for more information.
As for other services and a
ctivities, Payne said she and staff are doing as much as they can given current limitations, and in the meantime encourages everyone to take advantage of online resources – many of which are free to access and can be found by visiting https://gordon.armymwr.com/programs/Woodworth-library.
“It’s been difficult, but we understand it’s for the greater good, so we ‘Soldier on’ just like everyone else, but just try to be as creative as possible to still reach out to military families and let them know that we’re still here for them.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, knitters of every skill level would meet at Woodworth Library on Saturdays at 11 a.m. The group’s leader and Woodworth Library education services specialist, Grace Smith, decided to continue meeting despite library access restrictions. Now, instead of meeting in person, the group convenes virtually via Zoom Video Communications.
For a hobby that’s typically viewed as tangible, Smith said the group is not only about hand movement.
“It’salot about the communication and the exchange between the members,” Smith said.
Current members who have not been added to Zoom may reach out directly to Smith. Others who are interested in joining should contact Smith by calling the library at 706-791-7323.
“This [pandemic] isn’t the most fun time for a lot of people,” Smith said. “Knitting is a good way to decompress and reach out to somebody.”
Woodworth Library hours are currently open to active duty service members only, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed Friday, and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 706-791-7323 for assistance.