CARL resumes offering full in-library services

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Ten-year-old Brooklyn Lem and 6-year-old Colton Lem read their book selections in the children's room of the Combined Arms Research Library July 6. A large paper "canvas" has been hung just outside the children's room, with crayons and a drawing suggestion — it was "shapes" on re-opening day — for children to add their artwork. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer


The Combined Arms Research Library officially re-opened for full services July 6.


“(Deciding to open) was based on how other things were opening, and just seeing how more people (were coming back) to the offices showed that we, too, would be able to resume normal operations,” said Tyler Evans, CARL director.

Chris Norman and his children, 3-year-old Rex and 6-year-old Ruby, look through some of their book selections July 6 in the children’s room of the Combined Arms Research Library. The family had participated in the StoryWalks positioned outside the library, but this was the first time they were able to come inside to check out books. For nearly the past year and a half, the library had been closed to browsing and offered reduced services because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The library officially reopened July 6 and again offers full services. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The library is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Face coverings are required for all unvaccinated people including children. Additionally, maintaining social distance and the use of hand sanitizer are still encouraged.
Although all services are now open, restarting children’s in-person programs such as storytime will not happen yet, Evans said.


“We’re trying to avoid creating a large crowd,” Evans said. “We’ll evaluate as (time) goes.”

To help celebrate the reopening of the library, 6-year-old Colton Lem draws hearts, a deer and a tree on a paper “canvas” outside the children’s room July 6 at the Combined Arms Research Library. Crayons and a drawing suggestion are positioned by the paper canvas for children to add their artwork. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


StoryWalks and the summer reading program will continue. The StoryWalk featuring “Hey-Ho to Mars We’ll Go: A Space-Age Version of ‘The Farmer in the Dell’” by Susan Lendroth and illustrated by Bob Kolar will remain available through July 11, and a new StoryWalk featuring “Handa’s Surprise” by Eileen Browne will be available by July 12.

To help celebrate the reopening of the library, 6-year-old Colton Lem draws hearts, a deer and a tree on a paper “canvas” outside the children’s room of the Combined Arms Research Library July 6. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Additionally, there is a large paper “canvas” along the windows of the children’s room for children to draw pictures on with crayons, said Sierra Hochstatter, CARL community library technician.


Now that the library is open to the public, the “materials request” option through the website will no longer be available.


“That was something implemented because of COVID (to continue operating), but it’s very labor intensive,” Evans said.


Evans said he hopes the reopening of the library remains permanent.


“Hopefully we’ll be back to normal from here out. Librarianship is a service profession, so the restrictions were very difficult for us because we’re accustomed to assisting and accommodating users,” Evans said. “It was odd being thrown into a situation where you had to tell people, ‘no’ and not have anybody around.”


CARL reopening meant Chris Norman and his children, 6-year-old Ruby and 3-year-old Rex, were finally able to come into the library for the first time after a year of waiting.

Chris Norman and his 3-year-old son Rex peruse “The Big Book of Things That Go” July 6 in the children’s room of the Combined Arms Research Library. The family had participated last fall in the StoryWalks positioned outside the library, but this was the first time they were able to come inside to check out books. For nearly the past year and a half, the library had been closed to browsing and offered reduced services because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The library officially reopened July 6 and again offers full services. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“I’m excited that it’s open. We live just three houses away, and when we were looking to move here, that was one of the enticements was that the library was going to be right next to our house, and it’s been closed this whole time,” Norman said. “Books are wonderful. It’s good for their speech and for learning. … You can open up any book and there’s a different universe in each one.


“I’m amazed at the children’s book selection in here,” he said. “We love reading to the kids. They like books, and we have a lot of books at home, but we’ve kind of had to keep recycling them.”

Six-year-old Ruby Norman flips through a book while making selections July 6 in the children’s room of the Combined Arms Research Library. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Ruby Norman said her favorite things to read about are dinosaurs, rockets and the sea.


“They’re inspiring to me,” she said. “I think (the library) is pretty cool.”

For updates on available services and programs, follow the CARL Facebook page or visit the CARL website at https://carlcgsc.libguides.com/Home.

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