In early June, the Cumberland County Public Library’s community engagement division launched “Operation Raid Fayetteville.” The goal of the campaign is to reach out to people in underserved and rural areas of the county and inform them of the library’s many free programs and resources. Staff members set up tables at key locations every Friday morning to meet residents where they are.
Carlie C’s IGA grocery store on Reilly Road was the first of seven sites scheduled for this summer-long outreach. Sitting behind a table draped with a blue library tablecloth and stacked with giveaways and handouts, community engagement staff greeted customers going in and out of the grocery store. Starting with a friendly hello, they proceeded to talk about resources and programs customized for appropriate age groups.
Tech Times are drop-in classes focused on teaching basic computer literacy to seniors. The sessions teach skills such as setting up an email account or operating a smartphone. In addition to sessions at each of the library system's eight locations each month, the staff also offer drop-in labs at recreation centers and churches for those unable to attend a class at the library. Additionally, they host senior social hour and game time activities for older adults at two branches each month.
The community engagement division also provides home delivery services to residents who are unable to visit the library, as well as their caregivers. Home delivery staff cover six routes each month, delivering books to private residences, nursing or rest homes, assisted living centers and rehabilitation service facilities.
In addition, the library offers an extensive range of children's programs at all locations, including story times, sensory story times, crafts projects and scavenger hunts. The children’s programs are available free of charge. LibrariCon returns Sept. 16 at Headquarters Library after a two-year hiatus.
The second floor at the Headquarters Library at 300 Maiden Lane is in the midst of a renovation aimed at creating a child-friendly, interactive environment. But before heading over to play with the giant Litezilla or oversized chess set, stop by the Local & State History Room, where knowledgeable staffers are ready to assist you in conducting research or genealogy tracing with help using microfilm or locating birth, marriage or death certificates. Additionally, the digital preservation lab is available for converting tapes, records and photographs to digital files.
For more information on these services and others mentioned in this article, stop by, call 910-483-7727 or visit our calendar at https://bit.ly/3JoOTfB.
Traci Cardenas is a community engagement specialist with the Cumberland County Public Library.