AT THE LIBRARY: Public library begins building archive of COVID-19 pandemic

Part of the library’s mission is archiving the history of Winchester and Clark County.

In the library’s local history room, there are extensive files about Clark County from its beginning to the present. Most records were donated to the library by citizens of Clark County.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for almost everyone on Earth.

A record of this time in Clark County needs to be kept so future generations will know how we worked individually and pulled together as a community to overcome this adversity.

In this situation, it is vital to not only archive the pronouncements and actions of government offices and officials, but it is also vitally important to have a record of how citizens, clubs, groups and ad hoc associations came together to help themselves, their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers survive.

Last week, CCPL reference librarian Jennifer Mattern emailed the reference, local history and adult services staff with the idea of starting an archive of this time in Clark County.

This archive will be a community history. We want it to include reports, photos, journal entries, letters, emails, posters, guidelines, recipes, art and craft instructions and children’s programs.

It will be made up of letters from friends that provided comfort and hope. Journal entries that explain how individuals met daily challenges. Visual art, poems, essays and music will be components of this archive.

The library hopes to receive not only paper documents and emails, but also sound recordings and videos from patrons and citizens telling their stories. We are working out a way to make these recordings, digital images and videos, along with short interviews of individuals available online so they can be viewed by the public.

Keep this in mind: donate what you found important. What made the biggest difference to you now?

I will be adding a picture of our front porch, where Julie and I had coffee while talking and listening to birds; pictures of our pets, who provided so much companionship and pleasure; a picture of the meadow behind our house, my meditation center and the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that provided anxiety relief during the baking and deliciousness when done.

If you have any questions about the archive, email me at

What’s happening online?

— Children’s programs: all accessed through the CCPL Children’s Services Facebook Page; storytimes from Misty; Hogwarts virtual experience; Percy Jackson scavenger hunt;Pokemon virtual experience; Star Wars virtual experience

— Adult programs: Program information available on the Library’s homepage,, or at the library’s Facebook page,

All adult programs are through Zoom meetings.

Pageturner’s Book Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss “The Daughter-in-Law” by Nina Manning. Books and audiobooks are available through Hoopla in CCPL’s online library.

Virtual trivia will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Click the Trivia link on the library’s homepage,, to view the calendar, and then click on the event date to register.

Book Lunch will meet at noon Thursday to discuss “Whose Body” by Dorothy Sayers. Books are available through Hoopla in CCPL’s online library.

Take care. Stay well.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at