FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Eighteen months after closing down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the renovated Robert F. Sink Memorial Library is back and ready to serve Soldiers and Families.
The Fort Campbell Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation celebrated the facility’s return with a grand reopening Sept. 16, giving patrons their first look at its new paving, carpeting, shelves and expanded children’s room.
Soldiers and Families can now visit the library, at 38 Screaming Eagle Blvd., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Mondays to see the changes for themselves.
“Patrons can expect a very bright, welcoming library that looks very progressive,” said Jennifer Seabrooks-Riggins, supervisory librarian, Robert F. Sink Memorial Library. “And it’s going to impact Soldiers and Families in a huge way because they’re going to be able to come in, browse the shelves and get face-to-face contact with staff. This will also be another place where Soldiers can use the computers, and we recently acquired a second 3D printer. When COVID-19 happened, everything was shut down and they didn’t have access to those resources.”
Seabrooks-Riggins said the library will continue offering curbside pickups for books, a service that proved popular with patrons like Candis Armstrong during the closure.
“Before the pandemic, I started homeschooling my children for the first time,” said Armstrong, an Army spouse. “I didn’t know anything about homeschooling, but the library has been incredible at helping us find the resources. Whether I’m doing American history or [American] Indian culture, they’ve always given us the books and resources we need for our studies.”
Armstrong also credits library employees for encouraging her not to give up on homeschooling, and said she plans to continue bringing her children to the facility to support their education.
“My children love the library, and we just wanted to come to the reopening to show our faces and show how much we appreciate them,” she said. “We’re excited to be back in the building ... getting out of the house and into an environment we really enjoy is important. Reading is the No. 1 priority for our education, and I know being in this environment will help the kids want to study more.”
The library’s slate of educational programming offers another way for children to grow academically, and there are learning options for adults as well.
“We have STREAM programming, which stands for science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics,” Seabrooks-Riggins said. “There are history programs for adults, as well as computer programs that will help them learn the Microsoft Office suite.”
For others, like Army spouse Phoenix Zike, the library’s reopening is a chance to pass down a love for reading to the next generation.
“The last time I was at the library I was pregnant with my daughter, so I’ve been really excited to be able to bring her back,” Zike said. “I always loved reading with my mom. That was something special we shared, and now that she’s no longer here it’s something I can share with my daughter.”
No matter how they use it, the library is a valuable resource for Soldiers and Families across the installation, said Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, Fort Campbell garrison commander.
“We want to rededicate the library to our Families, to our Soldiers and hope that you find a new home here,” Jordan said. “And that you enjoy coming in here and spending time learning, teaching your children how to read, showing them that reading is what’s going to get them places in life and just ingrain in them that love for education and lifelong learning.”