LaFayette, GA – The three Walker County branches of the Cherokee Regional Library System will begin providing enhanced services to the community on Monday, August 24th. The Chickamauga, LaFayette-Walker County and Rossville Public Libraries will more than double daily operational hours, provide seven day a week services and in person tutoring for the remainder of the year.
The expanded public access comes at a time when many residents are searching for solutions to virtual learning and telecommuting. “COVID-19 has presented many challenges in our community,” said Shannon Whitfield, Walker County Commissioner. “Enhancing library services will improve access to technology for students impacted by the digital divide and adults who need to work remotely during this pandemic.”
Lecia Eubanks, Cherokee Regional Library Director, said, “We are in uncharted territory. Historically, none of our branches have ever been open this many hours in a week. We have also never been able to offer services on Sundays. But these are unprecedented times. There is a correlation between internet access and school success in the best of times. It’s more important than ever before to be accessible to the students and residents of Walker County.”
The Walker County branch libraries feature gig speed internet access, in addition to physical books and resources. Computer stations are available for public use within the library or patrons can bring their own devices and connect to the gig speed service. The wireless network is also accessible from the parking lot 24 hours a day and does not require a password. For those who need a secluded place to focus on their work, study rooms are available at each location.
Next month, the Walker County branch libraries will roll out a new “Time with Teacher” tutoring program. Local students will be able to check-out a one-hour tutoring session with a certified teacher, at no cost to the student. “We understand the uncertainty many teachers, students and their parents face right now and we want to help,” added Eubanks. Each branch library will offer 42 tutoring sessions each week. Additional information will be posted at chrl.org and the library’s social media pages as this tutoring program launches.
The Chickamauga, LaFayette-Walker County and Rossville Public Libraries will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The enhanced services are made possible through CARES Act funding and will be in place through December 31st.
Due to the expected increase in public use, Walker County Government will continue to stock each library location with free face coverings, while supplies last. The face coverings, which come four to a pack, are one size fits all, made of 100% cotton and are machine washable up to 15 times.