Books in the Time of Coronavirus

Dana Ryals, Librarian

Sitting safely at home as the leaves start to turn, images of cozying in with a good book, soft blanket, and warm drink come to mindBut with the pandemic raging outside of our doorsthis autumn is not as simple as the last. Perhaps that’s not entirely accurate, as in some ways it is more simple, but that is another story. This story is about cozying up with a book, which is also a story of the Madison College Libraries. 

Libraries are places that don’t shut their doors. Everyone is welcome, and ideas and stories are valued.  You don’t have to buy anything to spend time in the libraries, and best of all, you can borrow books. Yet because of the pandemic, the Madison College Libraries’ doors and stacks are mostly shut. Books carry more than ideas – they carry bookmarks, post-it notes, and pandemic germs.   

The Madison College Libraries are keeping a close watch on official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Libraries Association to put protocols in place to keep our patrons safe as we navigate books in the time of Coronavirus. The first and foremost advice is for everyone to stay home. To that end, the libraries have been working hard to find ways to support students from home.   

Remote Service: Following the Safer at Home mandate, we’re mostly staying at home.  We can still offer the same help we provided before, but virtually. The librarians are just a phone call, chat, or email away. Find us at our Hours and Locations page: 

Electronic Resources: With the help of the federal CARES Grant, the libraries have additional funds to purchase 1year access to some new databases that allow people get great information right through their electronic devices. Over 250,000 new E-Books and E-audiobooks adorn our virtual shelves. Check them out in our list of A-Z Databases at Please call us if you want help finding that perfect book. 

On-Campus ServicesPhysical books are still available for pick-up at our campuses.  Find books by searching in the Library “Discover box and choose “Material Pickup” from the book’s webpage to let us know that you want to pick up a certain item on campus. Learn more at our Checkouts page: 

For the students that learn best in person, we have gone to great lengths to ensure a safe in-person campus visit to our libraries. Appointments can be made a day in advance for a space that allows for social distancing in either 15- or 45-minute appointments. 24-hour notice, the college COVID Screener, and face coverings are required, so planning ahead is a must.   

With these safety precautions in place, cozying up with a book might look more like cozying up with your laptop as you read one of the hundreds of thousands of e-books available to you. It might require a few extra steps to get to one of our campuses for the book that you want, but one way or another, we are committed to getting you books that will keep you company as you curl up and settle in to this Coronavirus autumn.