Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library gives out free books

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Elizabethton/Carter County Library is giving away free books during their COVID-19 closure.

According to Joe Penza, archivist at the library, the books are sale books that are held in storage until the Friends of the Library Book Sale that takes place in April. Due to the current pandemic, the sale will most likely not be taking place, and this also provides content for people to read.

“We’re just trying to get rid of some of them and give people things to read while we’re closed,” he said. “So people can just come up. Take what they want, if they want to bring them back when they’re done and want to grab some more they can, or they can keep them.”

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The amount of books outside are replenished daily with more books that have been in storage. They are available during regular library hours and taken back inside at night.

Penza said there are more than just basic books in this free collection.

“There’s books, audiobooks, DVD’s, magazines, children’s books and more,” he said.

Penza said that providing these books is great during a time like this.

“We just want to make sure that people still have access to things that are really important during this time,” he said. “There’s high levels of anxiety, and people keep saying that having books to read or movies to watch keeps your mind occupied, and not on the coronavirus. This is a great way to keep your immune system strong and not get stressed out.”

Besides free books, the library is working on a deep clean and an inventory count during the closure. Penza said that with the inventory, many older books are being cleared out for newer ones, and these are also joining the books outside.

In addition to the books outside, online library services are ongoing. People can still access the Tennessee Electronic Library, and can also check out ebooks as well. An instant digital card service is now also available through Tennessee Regional ebook and Audiobook Download System, or R.E.A.D.S., for people to get a library card online by creating an account with a cellphone number to be able to check out library books, as well.