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Librarian boosts her community during pandemic

A small-town, unsung hero
Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 19:24:24-04

MALVERN, Iowa. (KMTV)  — One librarian in Malvern stepped up when the pandemic hit. Malvern Public Library Director Rebecca Bassich decided to take responsibility for her town's needs by offering more services and providing words of encouragement.

"There was a very strong need for our elderly population, we decided we needed to do curbside and homebound delivery services for not just the elderly but really anyone in the community who didn't feel comfortable going out into the public during the pandemic," Bassich said.

Bassich also expanded internet access and ordered books she didn't have on her shelves for eager readers.

"Routinely we would do little things that we weren't planning on doing like making little sticky notes, attaching them to the books, we would set outside in the bag for our patrons that would say this book is for fun, this book is for inspiration, this book is for humor," Bassich said.

During a tumultuous year, Bassich viewed herself as a liaison between imagination and reality.

"Everybody enjoys something in life — and so — catering to that sense of imagination and excitement for life and learning, I think that really is what the source of librarianship is," Bassich said.

Ultimately, Bassich hopes the pandemic highlights the need for librarians and reinforces a love for reading.

"Librarians are kind of a beacon of light for people looking for that well of imagination and creativity that everybody has whether it's with reading, whether it's with doing crafts, you name it," Bassich said.

The American Library Association reports demand for library services like virtual library cards and digital content increased during the pandemic.

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