COVID-19 may have caused the Perry Public Library to close its doors to the public, but staff members are continuing to find ways to serve the community.


“I work with so many talented people that our minds are constantly being creative (in) how to overcome social distancing and deliver services,” Library Director Mary Murphy said.


The library is continuing to offer a curbside service. Murphy said while patrons are utilizing the curbside service, they have shortened the hours to help curtail staffing.


The curbside service will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Patrons can call the library, 515-465-3569, to request materials.


“If you find it in our catalogue, call in, we’ll pull it and you come and pick it up,” Murphy said. “We’ll deliver it to your trunk so we’re socially distancing ourselves. It’s safe for the patron and safe for the staff.”


In addition to books, Murphy said patrons can now check out activity kits for free. Children’s Librarian Suzanne Kestel has put together activity kits for three age groups, preschool, K-2 and 3-5. Those kits, Murphy said, feature different themes. Librarian staff can also deliver the kits to patron’s trunks.


Murphy said library staff has continued to find new ways to offer a variety of services to its patrons. One of those includes an online storytime.


Storytime Online with Miss Suzanne started on Tuesday, March 31. The Tuesday and Thursday morning storytimes will continue at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.


Murphy said the storytimes will be offered using Zoom, a video communication app. Up to 100 can call in to watch the storytime for free. Murphy said they hope to make the storytimes more interactive.


Murphy said another idea staff members have been toying with is coordinating a scavenger hunt, either through a hide and seek picture hunt or from a car.


“We have lots and lots of ideas. I swear we’re working harder than we were when we were open. How (do we) convey services and keep everybody safe,” Murphy said.


Staff members have continued to post various resources and ideas for parents to do with their children on the library’s Facebook page and website. Murphy added that the library’s Wi-Fi is also available in the library’s parking lot. Those interested can call the library, 465-3569, for the password.


More resources and tools are also available on the library’s website, www.perry.lib.ia.us, including eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video, digital learning tools and more.


For more information on any of the library’s services, call 515-465-3569.