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Tea Library finds creative ways to serve residents during Covid-19 pandemic

Gayla Wipf is a familiar face to many as she has spent the last 15 years as the Tea Community Librarian.

“I first started under the head librarian and then when she took another position elsewhere, and the spot opened up and I took it over,” Wipf said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work under and learn from than my previous boss. I gained a lot of knowledge and a lasting friendship. She did an awesome job of showing me most of what I needed to know.”

Although nothing could have prepared her for this past year, adjusting to life during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Wipf had hoped to keep the library open last year but unfortunately she said, “closing was something that needed to be done for Covid purposes.”

The library is open once again and Wipf couldn’t be happier. The staff is asking that each patron that comes into the library wears a mask and use sanitizer, which is located by the library door when they enter.

The Tea Community Library is located at the High School, hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9a.m. to 12 p.m.

Being open is a welcome change for Wipf, who had to be creative this last year while they were closed.

The library offered curbside pickup service. She said that only about half of the number of patrons that would normally come through the library have used this service. Curbside service is still available to those that prefer that option, patrons can call the Library at 498-0281 for pick up.

Wipf also had to get creative when it came to story time. The library hosts story time with 60-75 kids participating. She knew there was simply no way to social distance this many people in the library, so instead of hosting story time in person Wipf dressed up as different characters and performed story time virtually. The story times are then available on the Tea Community Library Facebook page.

Wipf even recorded a few story times over Christmas break, to offer something for her young readers since Santa wasn’t able to visit the library. Wipf said that Santa hasn’t missed a year in the past 15 years, until 2020.

Although the past year has been challenging, Wipf appreciates everyone’s patience.

She said, “The Tea community is a great place to work. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the pandemic. Together, we will get through it. Go Titans!”


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