Curry Library makes big impact despite pandemic


BUCKHANNON — The infamous COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the James W. Curry Public Library and Park over the past year, but they didn’t let it stop them from making a huge impact on the community.

Curry Library Director Judith Williams happily showed Upshur County Commissioners exactly what they’ve been busy doing during 2020 last Thursday morning. Williams noted that the unusual year allowed them to reinvent themselves to continue providing a safe learning environment and they reformatted programs to meet COVID-19 guidelines. “If I could sum up 2020 within a word—impactful,” Williams noted.

Despite COVID closures, the library nestled in the wilderness of Brooks Hill, served 2,422 adults and 1,061 child library users in 2020. Aside from the library, the park is also a main attraction for many. Fortunately, their numbers of reservations were only down 10% from the previous year.

The pandemic also called for new opportunities, such as enhanced WiFi and technology. Curry Library reportedly hosted 2,530 technology sessions that included 383 computer hours and 2,147 WiFi hours. Williams also credited MicroLogic and Kid Connect for their upgrades that allowed increased outdoor and after hours use not reflected in these numbers. Additionally, the library provided 46 days of logistical support for virtual learning.

The James W. Curry Public Library also boasted an impressive 92 programs throughout 2020, which included 41 children’s programs, 26 adult programs, 21 family programs, and four community programs. A newly added program in 2020, was the first annual Christmas at Curry Festival of Lights, which entertained 151 cars and a total of 526 people.

Williams emphasized that these impressive numbers do not even accurately depict the full impact that the James W. Curry Public Library had on the community last year. Commissioners congratulated Williams on a job well done and commended her efforts towards the library since her involvement began. Commission President Kristie Tenney, whose family was thankful to participate in some of the library’s programs in 2020, became emotional Thursday morning as she told Williams, “It is just so awesome all the lives you’re impacting.” Williams concluded that it is her privilege to serve at the James W. Curry Public Library and Park.

Stop by this hidden gem, located at 1721 Brooks Hill Road to check out what they have in store for 2021.

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