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WNY library make adaptations to combat COVID struggles and digital surge

Programs include virtual story time, arts & crafts, curbside pickup, and in some cases, delivery services.
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 18:22:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For months at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries across Erie County were forced to shut their doors, leaving an already struggling industry without customers.

"It was hard, it hit us fast, and we didn't know what to do," said Daniel Lewandowski, the head librarian at Crane Branch library - which just opened its doors in the Elmwood Village after months of construction.

Lewandowski went to Facebook to help children and adults that missed the libraries services. He created online virtual storytimes for children, arts and crafts, and other videos. Other libraries followed suit.

"We have been adapting, and will continue to do so," said Jeannine Doyle, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Interim Director.

The biggest new program is the "Library of Things," a new program offered in Erie County where patrons can take out other things than books. Musical instruments, children’s toys, games, and even technology like hot spots and laptops are available just like books.

You can find out your local libraries "things" list via their website.