In Godoy Cruz, a city located in the north of Argentina, the mornings of those in charge of the municipal library changed a few days ago when, due to the prolonged quarantine in the country due to the coronavirus, they decided to start distributing books to their neighbors at home. .
“Talking with the work team and with people from the municipality, the idea of making a ‘delivery’ of books came up,” the director of the Manuel Belgrano Media Library, Marcelo Quevedo, explained in telephone statements.
The social, preventive and compulsory isolation, as the Government named it, was scheduled to end on March 31, but it was extended until April 12, so Quevedo and his colleagues devised a way for residents to continue asking books that will help them get through the confinement.
After several days organizing with the rest of the municipal departments, they implemented a web form to become a member on the library page and launched this campaign for the around 190,000 inhabitants of the Godoy Cruz department.
ORDERS BY WHATSAPP AND BOOKS “IN QUARANTINE”
The delivery system is simple and took just a couple of days to get up and running: the library user sends a WhatsApp asking for the book or books they want – they can order up to four – the library team receives the order, He prepares it and a municipal official picks up the shipments and takes them home.
Given the health situation, a series of precautions are taken. For starters, a library employee cleans and disinfects the books before they are sent, so that they arrive “as clean as possible”, they are placed in a bag and the municipal official who delivers the books does so with gloves.
Once the books are returned, Quevedo explains that they are “quarantined” for four or five days without anyone being able to order them again and set them apart from the rest of the collection so that any possible trace of infection is eliminated.
135 LOANS IN THREE DAYS
On Wednesday they started making their first shipments and promoting this new system and ended the week with 135 books spread over more than thirty trips.
In addition, thanks to the campaign, the library got 55 new members who will be able to order books starting Monday.
One of the collateral effects of this new system is that librarians saw that their role as literary advisers was more important than ever for their neighbors, since many times the book they ask for has already been removed by someone else.
In those cases, Quevedo stressed that he usually recommends books by Florencia Bonelli or Viviana Rivero, because most of the partners are asking for period and romantic novels.
The director of the library pointed out that another of the most requested authors was the Argentine historian Felipe Pigna and that they also received many requests for children’s and youth literature, such as the Harry Potter saga.
Quevedo stressed that the idea is to “take reading to the neighbors” for free, the same objective with which the library was born 53 years ago, applied to a situation that its founders surely did not imagine.
Argentina confirmed 98 new cases of COVID-19 this Saturday, bringing the total number of infections to 1,451, while the deceased totaled 43.
José Manuel Rodríguez