America Together Logo

In South Dakota town, library’s drive-thru becomes lifeline of storytelling

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here

When the Rapid City Public Library in South Dakota installed a drive-thru window nearly 20 years ago, they never thought it would be used as the only way to get books to their community.

“Since lockdown and social distance and people trying to do the right thing, the drive-thru window has really become a lifeline,” Terri Davis, the library's director told Fox News.

From borrowing books and movies to even printing via the library's Wi-Fi, the window that was used only on occasion is now on high demand for the nearly 110,000 residents in town.

The library currently is operating with only 11 of its usual 38 staff members.

“We have 'story time shorts' which are posted on Facebook and people can hear and view a story that way. We also have a 'dial a story' service, where people can call in and hear a story being read,” Davis explained.

She added that they also have a service that “provides online animated stories so people can actually watch the story on their screen.”

In addition to their efforts to keep storytelling alive, they are also 3D-printing masks for the local fire department who are on the front lines fighting the virus.

Although these measures have become the new norm for now, Davis says it’s the support they receive from the community that really keeps their librarians going.

“We get online comments, we get phone calls, we get people coming through the drive through saying how much they appreciate us being open, even though it's not a normal open," Davis said. "We've had people dropping off cookies, just huge expressions of appreciation and gratitude.”