James Curry Library
The James W. Curry Library in the Brooks Hill area. / File photo by Katie Kuba

Curry Library crucial bridge to virtual learning for many southern Upshur County students

BROOKS HILL – The James W. Curry Library offers space for students to complete their virtual work, along with homework help.

And in the southern part of the county, where internet service isn’t always reliable, the library is a vital connection to learning.

Director of James W. Curry Library Judith Williams said the Curry Library, which is located in the Brooks Hill area, has changed its hours to accommodate students and their parents. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“One thing that we did is we’ve adjusted our hours to open the library earlier in the day, we are opening at 9 a.m. now, so that the families can come in and get their school’s schoolwork done earlier in the day,” Williams said.

She said they have students utilizing the library five days a week and on Wednesdays, the library is packed.

“A lot of these families don’t have reliable, affordable internet access at home, so they’re here at the library using the bandwidth that and we have the Secure Kids Connect hotspot, so that they can access their lessons and things,” Williams said.

She explained families who don’t have access to WiFi in the southern end of the county don’t usually have the bandwidth to finish their schoolwork every day.

“They may have like 10 megabytes or something and they run out of that pretty quick, so we’ve been able to support our families with reliable internet,” Williams said. “It’s slow sometimes when we have so many devices on it, but we also have two desktop computers, and I’m working on acquiring some more actual desktop computers, which being hardwired in will speeds things up considerably.”

Williams said students have been taking advantage of the new hours, because it takes time to finish all their assignments.

“They’re pretty much here from 9 a.m. until about 2 or 3 p.m., finishing what they are required to do virtually,” Williams said. “That’s been the pattern so far and maybe things will smooth out here, and we’ll get faster at doing things and it won’t be so challenging, we’ll get into a routine. I’m sure it’ll streamline itself with practice, but right now it’s pretty much 9 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m.”

Students are welcome to use the library and people do not have to sign up for anything to use the library’s services.

“We’re not doing any other programming because by the time the kids get done with their schoolwork, they want to do something besides something digital and the families are ready to go home,” Williams said. “They don’t want to stay at the library and do story time and other things like that, so we kind of backed off on our programming and are functioning primarily in a support role and providing homework help.”

Williams said she has been proud of the way the community has come together and adjusted to virtual learning.

“Our community has just been fantastic, and they have pulled together and worked together to help each other get through the ins and outs of this virtual learning, because it’s all new and it’s got some bugs and we’re finding our workarounds,” Williams said. “We break out into groups we have a fifth-grade group, a second-grade group, a preschool group and everybody is helping everybody – it’s just so wonderful to see a community work together.”

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!