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Look For The Helpers: Librarians Connect Communities Even When Library Is Closed

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Courtesy Miranda West
Miranda West (second from left) joins her fellow librarians for a Harry Potter-themed event for kids. West says she looks forward to a time when the library can again host in-person events.

In times of distress, a quote from Mr. Rogers often comes up: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

In its recurring segment, "The Helpers," KUNC is collecting stories of people who are going above and beyond to aid others during this time of crisis.

Miranda West is the teen services librarian at the Harmony Library in the Poudre River Public Library District.

The library has been closed since March 14 due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, but West says many librarians are continuing to work from home.

"Libraries are places that people can come to and feel welcome and we connect them with information that they need — for school or for their own lives, just to kind of make their lives better even in a small way," West said.

Maintaining the library's online services, including its Ask A Librarian service where people can send in questions, was critical to helping people feel connected, she added. In addition, many libraries have also moved in-person services — such as storytimes for kids — online, as well.

"That's what libraries are really there for — that community building," West said. "I think right now it's a struggle for all of us to feel that way since we're all in our homes and isolated."

If you know of a "Helper" making a difference, contact Stacy Nick at stacy.nick@kunc.org.

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