The coronavirus has changed how people live their daily lives — from how they do their jobs, go to the doctor, shop for groceries and even go to school.

Weddings, graduations and fundraisers have all been put on a back burner due to social distancing — it even is recommended that people no longer shake hands or give high-fives. While it is challenging and undesirable, there are people finding creative ways to still celebrate.

The Friends of Braswell Memorial Library, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the library, had big plans to host a fundraiser in May to raise money for a new bookmobile. Good company, delicious food, refreshing drinks, hip-shaking music and a tour of the brand-new ride were on the agenda.

And while COVID-19 was not invited, it showed up anyway and crashed the party. That being said, the Friends of Braswell brainstormed and came up with another great idea.

Through Dec. 31, contributions can be made online to help fill the new bookmobile. Each donor will have a “One for the Books” bookplate personalized with their name. Fundraiser organizers have simplified how dollars donated convert to the number of books that can be purchased.

  • $20 — Two children’s books.
  • $25 — One adult fiction book.
  • $50 — Two adult fiction books.
  • $100 — Four adult fiction books.

Braswell Memorial Library Director Catherine Roche said she is thrilled that a greater number of people will have access to books.

“People are finding that they can’t come to the library for a multitude of reasons: work and child-care responsibilities, library is too far away, no transportation,” she said. “But the bookmobile is the perfect way to reach so many readers.”

Braswell Memorial Library was a recipient of the 2020-21 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. The grant money, combined with contributions from private donors and local businesses, made it possible for the library to purchase a bookmobile. The LSTA grant awards local libraries funds to advance excellence and promote capacity, expand access and strengthen community engagement.

Roche said she believes that while all members of the community will benefit from the bookmobile, she is most eager for children to have access to books right outside their homes and schools.

“There are a lot of young children in child care and that makes it really difficult for them to have a true library experience. Now we can come to them and share our love of books,” she said.

A link to the donation site is on the Braswell Memorial Public Library website. The fundraiser also is listed at Search “braswell library” to find the event homepage.