As Georgia gradually reopens, many public libraries are gearing up to open their doors soon.
Julie Walker, who serves as the state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service, says Georgia has 408 libraries that make up the 62 library systems across the state.
Walker says the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic required libraries to quickly pivot to be able to provide resources to their patrons.
“Our libraries realized that they were actually going to be needed more than ever and that we still had a whole lot to offer, even though our doors were closed for a while,” said Walker.
But despite being closed for in-person visits, Walker says libraries offered several online resources and left their Wi-Fi networks on so that people can connect to the internet while parked in the parking lot.
On Wednesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Walker told the show’s host Rose Scott that libraries in Georgia are governed by their individual board of trustees and that libraries are reopening phases.
“We don’t actually, at the state level, have the authority to tell libraries about opening and closing,” explained Walker. “We are just here to support them in whatever phase of the reopening they find themselves in.”
During the conversation, Walker said that many libraries in the metro Atlanta area are in Phase 2 of their reopening, which includes curbside service.