Library expands digital services during COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2020

By Jared Jacavone

Tyrrell County Public Library

Today we face something that has not occurred in over 100 years–the nationwide reduction of in-person services due to a global pandemic. Like the response to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, libraries across the country have halted all physical services, shut down public access to facilities, and stopped the circulation of all physical library materials. While such closures effectively cut off all public access to information and entertainment in 1918, today the Tyrrell County Public Library is still able to serve you during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Even though our physical location and materials are inaccessible to the public, our digital presence and resources allow us to continue to serve our community. At the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, our Library worked with the school system to help distribute free Wi-Fi hot spots to middle school and high school students. Our Library’s Wi-Fi has been modified to encompass the parking lot.

All previously checked-out books that were due after our initial closure have been extended to May 15, and any fines accrued during this time will be waived.

The Tyrrell County Public Library still has access to its databases, online books, and other digital resources, so if you have any questions, our staff can still provide answers and resources remotely through our Facebook page’s Instant Messenger and our library email (tyrrell@pettigrewlibraries.org).

From finding instructions for a new hobby to getting documents on taxes, unemployment, or other important resources, our staff is standing by to help! If you are in need of a good book, we still have you covered! With your library card, you can log into E-iNC through the Overdrive app and website, and get access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks for free! We have also reached out to

Tumblebooks, Scholastic Remote Learning, and NCLearn@Home to provide FREE online books and remote learning experiences for our patrons. Through NCLive you have access to several online e-book resources such as Credo Reference, Libby, RB Digital, Homegrown E-books, Open Library, and Open Education North Carolina. All of these are accessible through our website. You can even stream hundreds of quality documentaries, movies, TV-shows, and how-to videos through Films on Demand, another resource provided by NCLive (also available through our website)!

Aside from securing and distributing these digital resources, our staff is hard at work creating digital programming! The Library has established a YouTube channel and now provides regularly scheduled program videos. This includes a staff-facilitated Reading Series, an online Dungeons and Dragons club, virtual Story Time, and an interactive poetry course! We have also introduced a special “Voices of the Community” Reading Series, and our first guest was our County Manager, David Clegg!

Everyone is welcome to participate in these digital programs, and please do not hesitate to contact us through email or Facebook if you would like to get involved!

Finally, with the help of the Friends of the Tyrrell County Public Library, we are using our new digital archival scanner to remotely digitize our archival collection. In the past few weeks we have digitized the Columbia High School Yearbooks from 1941 to 1950, and uploaded them to our website and Facebook page. More digital yearbooks are still to come!

In this unprecedented time of social distancing and public lockdown, the Tyrrell County Public Library continues to serve the public. Despite our physical closure and disruption of normal services, our staff is committed to providing quality digital resources and online reference and programming services. We look forward to resuming normal operations once this crisis has passed, but for now, we are only an email or Facebook message away! Stay safe!

Website Pettigrew: https://pettigrewlibraries.libguides.com/PRL/Home

Website Tyrrell: https://pettigrewlibraries.libguides.com/PRL/TCL

Our NEW Resources for Children and Teens Page:

https://pettigrewlibraries.libguides.com/c.php?g=440641&p=6630288

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tyrrell-County-Public-Library-149608918388166/?ref=bookmarks

E-iNC Online Books: https://e-inc.overdrive.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUa7z_UmxgeQl7ANe1KBOhQ?view_as=subscriber