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Libraries across SE Wisconsin serve the community despite being closed: ‘Learning as we go’

FRANKLIN — Libraries are one of the businesses deemed nonessential under the “Safer at Home” order. But even though doors are closed, many libraries are finding new ways to serve the community.

No books are entering or leaving the Franklin Public Library — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a transfer of information.

“People think of books, probably using the computers and different services like that, but we really try to look at it like the library provides education and enrichment for all areas of life,” said Laura Gravander, Teen Services and Outreach Librarian at Franklin Public Library.

With the coronavirus closing libraries, the librarians have found a new way to spread information. All you need is the internet.

From yoga storytimes to quarantine quick meals, and family-friendly crafts — the librarians are becoming YouTubers.

“We’re kind of learning as we go. It’s a lot of kind of jump right in with both feet and kind of see how we do,” said Gravander.

The librarians are finding solutions for those without internet access as well. They are still answering phone calls.

“I think it’s always important to remember that we still need to be able to provide information to people who can’t access it at home,” said Gravander.

Franklin Public Library

All of this while also preparing for the library to re-open.

“I really think that once we do re-open, I think people are going to really need our services more than ever,” said Gravander.

Other libraries in southeast Wisconsin are doing similar things to keep their services going. The Milwaukee Public Library is hosting a virtual storytime at 10:30 a.m. every weekday.

Learn more at Franklin Public Library’s YouTube page.

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