Oxford Memorial Library Summer Reading Program Endures Despite Coronavirus

By: Zachary Meseck

OXFORD - The Oxford Memorial Library has announced that it will continue with events including its Summer Reading Program despite the coronavirus.

According to Oxford Memorial Library Director Nancy Wilcox, while libraries across the state have received little and disorganized information on when and how to reopen during a pandemic, the Oxford Library has several events scheduled throughout the year, and has created a plan to keep people safe.

"Gov. Cuomo totally dropped libraries off of his radar when he came up with phase four," said Wilcox. "Book stores were in phase two, and libraries started to move forward in phase three, but were ultimately told to reopen in phase four.”

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Wilcox said the community was disappointed, as were staff, but that while they were waiting to reopen staff members worked to develop a plan to keep everyone safe.

"We had to have signage displaying that face masks are required, all the books being returned have to be held for 72 hours, and there's a whole list of disinfectant steps,” she said. "People have been very anxious for us to reopen, and with people stuck at home it would have been the perfect time to get a stack of books to read.”

“So we wanted to make sure we had everything ready for when we were able to reopen, and we’re looking forward to continuing on with our literacy programs.”

She said while the community room hasn’t been able to reopen, it will be available on September 1 as long as everything isn’t forced to close again.

Oxford Memorial Library Youth Programs Coordinator Jessica Tefft said with COVID-19 limiting programs and other regularly scheduled events, this year’s Summer Reading Program, “Imagine Your Own Story,” has defiantly made the Oxford Memorial Library Staff use their imaginations to come up with what to do this summer.

Tefft said in place of all the programs they would normally have planned, the library is holding a “Writing Contest” for the community.

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