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All four branches of the Forsyth County Public Library have been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the buildings are still providing a valuable service for some in the community.
FCPL Director Anna Lyle said while the buildings may be closed, the community can still use WiFi in library parking lots from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“We've had, so far without really advertising it, about 100 people a day taking advantage spread between the four locations,” Lyle said.
Workers have moved around equipment to ensure that WiFi signal reaches the parking lot but Lyle said it might not reach all vehicles. Those that use the WiFi are asked to stay in vehicles and to practice social distancing
“It's not that every single space offers WiFi, but it's much more than before,” she said.
Lyle said the first week of offering WiFi fell during spring break and she was interested to see how much use the program would get in a normal week.
While the Forsyth County Public Library locations can't hold in-person programming, there was plenty of online programming happening this week at ForsythPL.org.
Wednesday, April 15
Novel Diversions: A Book Club for Adults
Wednesday, April 15 at 10 a.m.
Register in advance to participate in this month's online discussion of Sunburn by Laura Lippman and we'll email you a link to join our discussion on GoToMeeting. The eAudiobook version of this novel is available to FCPL cardholders in RBdigital.
Enjoy a short yoga break around 10 a.m. this morning with certified yoga instructor Lola Nichols from the Sharon Forks Library.
Look for previous episodes on the Yoga Shorts playlist on YouTube or the Yoga Shorts series on Facebook Watch.
Mind Readers: A Book Club for Adults
Wednesday, April 15 at 3 p.m.
Register in advance to participate in this week's Mind Readers book club and we'll email you a link to join our discussion on GoToMeeting.
There is no assigned book to read, just enjoy great conversation about what we're reading at the moment.
Thursday, April 16
Check your email at approximately 10 a.m. for a link to view Online Storytime.
To comply with requests from publishers who have granted temporary permission for these books to be read online, our Online Storytimes are published as "unlisted" videos on YouTube and will expire at the end of the academic year.
If you don't receive the message in your email, you can subscribe to the Online Storytime email list on our website.
Book Nook: Book Club for Kids
Book Nook is a fun way for kids and tweens to discover new books and fun craft projects.
Look for previous episodes on the Book Nook Playlist on YouTube or on the Book Nook series on Facebook Watch.
Friday, April 17
Plot Twisters: A Book Club for Teens
Friday, April 17 at 4 p.m.
Register in advance to participate in this week's Plot Twisters book club and we'll email you a link to join our discussion on GoToMeeting.
There is no assigned book to read, just enjoy connecting with other teens and talking about what you're reading right now.
No password is needed to access the WiFi and Lyle said users should remember it's a public system.
As the libraries have been closed, Lyle said there has been a more than three-fold increase in the number of e-books used by the community.
“People who previously used a combination of print and electronic or didn't use electronic at all have definitely moved in the direction of e-books,” she said. “It'll be very interesting to see the long-term impacts, whether they'll want their print books back or whether they'll be like, 'Why didn't I do e-books a long time ago?'”
Meanwhile, electronic audiobook use has been about the same, which could be explained by those who normally listen to them in traffic not doing so right now while others have more time to listen.
More information on the library is available at ForsythPL.org