Chelsea District Library Creates New Virtual Programs


Due to the effects of COVID-19, the Chelsea District Library has made changes to their usual programs for teens, kids and adults.

Shannon Powers is the head librarian of the Chelsea District Library and the leader for the new virtual programs. Powers said the library has been greatly changed by the pandemic.

“The library has closed to the public but is currently offering an in-person lobby pickup,” Powers said. “While we’ve been closed, we’ve had to rethink how we can stay connected with one another in a safe way.”

There have been many differences between the in-person programs and the virtual program, as well as many difficulties. 

“The biggest negative is not being able to provide a socializing opportunity that many love,” Powers said. 

The library has been working hard to make the best of these virtual programs and encourage interaction, even through zoom.

“We try to include Q&As and other elements to get people talking to one another, but being in person gives you a sense of community more than seeing faces in a zoom meeting,” Powers said.

Though there have been many changes, there have also been many positive outcomes of the new virtual programs.

“Some people are more interested in attending a parenting program, a history lecture or a book club if they can log in from the comfort of their couch,” said Powers.

Many virtual programs at the library have seen success and reached a lot of people.

“Our take-home crafting kits for teens and adults have been very popular, and we’ve had over 500 people attend our virtual Purple Rose Theater Readings,” Powers said.

As the pandemic continues, the Chelsea Library persistently adapts and makes plans for the future. Over the summer, library staff plan to host a scavenger hunt for all ages.

Though the virtual programs are going well, the Chelsea District Library still hopes to return to in person as soon as possible. 

“We can’t wait to go back to in-person programming when it is safe,” Powers said. “In-person programs will likely return when Michigan reaches Phase 6.”

COVID-19 has affected just about everyone. The way people react to change is what can ultimately be beneficial.

“You adjust and improve,” Powers said. “Often people think of libraries as old fashion or traditional, but really a successful library is always adapting and changing.”

To learn more about and sign up for specific programs, check out the link here.