On the corner of North 12th and West Collin Street sits one of the few remaining public places where everything is free. Following COVID-19 closings, the Corsicana Public Library reopened Monday, June 8. Library patrons can expect some exciting new changes.

Marianne Crandall Wilson, Ph.D., Corsicana Library Director, spearheads those efforts to make the library more inviting while maintaining safety and navigating staffing changes.

Wilson has been at the library for more than two years. Other staff members include Cynthia Graham, Assistant Director, Lindsay Dornak, Public Services Technician, Melodi Bailey, Technical Services Technician, Dana Stubbs, Genealogy, and Edanna Zager-Scott, Part-time Circulation Assistant.

Wilson said she has a passion for the library.

“My vision is to provide access to information and materials that promote lifelong learning improves the quality of life and fosters enjoyment of reading,” she said. “I want us to be a community hub. There are so many resources available in Corsicana. I dream of a way we can bring them all together. We want people to come in, be welcome, have free wifi, coffee, study, congregate, collaborate, and see the library as the heart of the community.”

Had it not already been built, Wilson said she doubts we would have a library now.

“If the library didn’t exist, I don’t think we would create it,” she said. “Why would we create a place where we give away free books, wifi, and space?”

Wilson said she hopes to increase community awareness of the services available.

“We have a core of amazing users who know what we have to offer and utilize our services, but we also have a whole segment of the population who doesn’t know what we offer,” she said. When not impacted by COVID-19, the library offers art class, story time, stitching group, book group, writing group. “We want to be a hub of the community.”

Visitors will notice some changes. All materials are now disinfected and quarantined for 24-hours before being recirculated. The building should also feel more open.

“While we were closed, we dismantled the shelves in front of the rock wall and opened the space to highlight our skylight,” Wilson said. “We have a beautiful modern building, and we want people to enjoy it. We plan to buy soft furniture to make it more inviting.”

Wifi service is also improved, making it strong enough to reach the parking lot. The library also offers public computers. Visitors can access databases for research and practice exams, and check out books from other libraries where Corsicana Library will borrow books from other libraries on your behalf. Ebook service is also available. Collins noted that during COVID-19 closures, the e-Book utilization increased by 60%. An avid reader herself, Wilson monitors bestseller lists and award-winning books to ensure they are available in Corsicana.

Visitors will notice reduced hours. The library hours are: Noon to 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, closed Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Visitors needing the genealogy department are encouraged to call ahead to confirm hours. The bookstore and meeting rooms are not currently available.

For those concerned about coming inside, Wilson said, “We understand that people may be concerned about coming in, so we offer curbside service. People can call or reserve books on the website. We call them and ask them if they’d like to come in our drive up. For curbside, we put the books in their trunk, so there is no physical contact.”

The library needs you. Wilson says:

“Come use us. We are not a profit entity, but we count our utilization. We are open, and we miss our community. We want to find out what we need. Masks are required by staff and visitors. We are here and ready and waiting and want to serve our community.”

The library is located at 100 N. 12th St., Corsicana, TX 75110. Additional information is available on the City of Corsicana’s website at https://www.cityofcorsicana.com/328/Library or by calling 903-654-4810.

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