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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Massachusetts Libraries: MA Library Idea Share

Resources about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Massachusetts Libraries

Belmont Public Library -- Care Packages

by Kelly Woodside on 2020-05-08T10:22:00-04:00 | Comments

sidewalk in front of public library with paper bags lining both sides, speced 6-8 feet apartCorinne Coveney, Community Outreach Librarian at the Belmont Public Library, reached out to tell us about their library Care Package program: "We wanted to find a way to connect with our library patrons and get books into their hands — from a distance. We created Care Packages, bags with a handful of books, movies, or music, that we place outside on the front walkways of the library. Each bag is colorfully labeled with a hint at what it includes for kids, teens, or adults. Anyone walking by can stop and grab a bag to keep forever. There's a bit of a surprise for them — they won't know what they get until they take the bag home and open it!"

Corinne reports, "Our first weekend of offering Care Packages, March 20-22, we put out over 70 bags. Since then, every few days when the weather is nice, we'll put out a new batch of Care Packages, usually about 20 at a time. In the past six weeks, we've distributed over 300 Care Packages to our community!"

grocery size paper bags labelled with different genres in front of a large flower paintingThe Belmont community has responded positively to the program, sharing comments and photos on social media of themselves enjoying their Care Packages at home. Says Corinne, "Every time we put out new bags, someone walking by stops to check them out and thank us for making them." The Care Package project has received coverage in the Patriot Ledger and offers of book donations for the bags (though Corinne points out they are unfortunately unable to accept donations while the library is closed). 

Corinne adds, "We owe special thanks to the Friends of the Belmont Public Library for letting us use their stock of book sale donations to fill the bags, as well as Trader Joe's and Star Market for donating paper bags. While we're missing our patrons, and we're sure they're missing the library, we hope our Care Packages bring a little brightness into our patrons' homes."

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