Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines 89.9 Chadbourn
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Not Your Old-Fashioned Bookworms: How Librarians Became Digital Connoisseurs In Pandemic

An old postcard photo of the Gastonia community center, which includes the Women's Club Building, Memorial Hall and Public Library.
Boston Public Library

This March, our world turned digital. Zoom meetings, virtual school and video chats dominated work, school and home life. To ease this transition to computer-based life, the state’s public libraries stepped up for their communities.


Hugh Davis is director of the Albemarle Regional Library, which serves the northeastern counties of Hertford, Bertie, Gates and Northampton. Working in counties that the Hertford County-native described as “internet deserts,” Davis had his work cut out for him. He took the director position in March as the pandemic moved into full swing, and his brief time has been spent connecting patrons with hotspots, computer classes and e-books.

Both Davis and Iredell County Public Library Youth Services Manager Carole Dennis say the libraries have always had useful online resources, and the pandemic encouraged people to seek them out and use them to their full potential. Their libraries also acted as important community connection points as pandemic isolation set in. Dennis and her staff created “Maker Videos” on Facebook to give parents and kids fun home activities.

Host Anita Rao talks with Davis and Dennis about their experiences as librarians during the pandemic and the books that helped them along the way.


Hugh and Carole's Book Recommendations:


"Even at the Grave" by Lisa Saunders


Davis: [Saunders] was talking about how she's come to view life differently having had to deliver sermons and eulogies. And I think that especially as I look back on the year, that's a book that helps me think about some of the losses we've had, but how we can best appreciate them. 


"Going Down Home With Daddy" by Kelly Starling Lyons


Dennis: It's about going back to your parents' home for a family reunion. And it spoke to me about going and visiting the home place, and Gates County in summers, and hanging out and the different relationships that you have with family and just how much we're missing that all this year.

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
More Stories