Public libraries have always been great resources not just for reading material, but as places of information and assistance in many aspects of life. The Coronado Public Library has provided residents of Coronado and visitors alike with a wide variety of programming and services for many years, and even when they had to close briefly in 2020, it has not stopped the library’s personnel from looking for ways to assist the public.
Elizabeth “Beth” Skelly, local resident and longtime library employee, used her time while the library had to be closed to help at the City Manager’s Office last summer where many questions about COVID-19 and the vaccines were coming in. “These are questions we get at the library, too, where we help them get the information they need, so it was a logical extension to get that service to people at the library,” said Skelly of her role in helping set up a system to help folks set up vaccine appoints at the library. “The City of Coronado and Sharp Coronado Hospital have been working together for months and months setting up the COVID testing site, and then the Vaccination Clinic. The City Manager’s Office reached out to the Library Director looking for help due to call volume, and when the Director asked for volunteers, I raised my hand.”
Skelly has a long history with the Coronado Public Library, having served as a page, library assistant, and currently as the library’s administrative secretary. “I just love the library,” Skelly said. “I love story times on Tuesdays and Fridays, and I love seeing the entire demographic of the community walk through our front doors – two year olds followed by 90 year olds. Everybody’s welcome.”
When the library had to shut those doors last year because of the pandemic, Skelly and the rest of the library’s staff worked hard to bring digital programming to the community though they missed that personal connection. “It’s really hard to be a public library without the public,” Skelly joked sadly.
While the library continues to stay up to date with mandated guidelines, they have been able to remain open to the public in some capacity since last July. As the first vaccine started to become available, Skelly helped fill a need for members of the community struggling to keep up with the influx of information and a completely digital appointment system.
“There is no way in the county system to get a vaccination if you don’t have an email address in the online system,” Skelly explained. She’s been using her email address to help those in the current tiers set up their appointments. “Right now, when you make a first appointment with Sharp Coronado on their website you get an email about making that second shot appointment so I go through that process [with them].”
Skelly has helped over 30 county residents get vaccinated this way. “If people have general questions about the vaccine, library staff members are there to help, but if people need help making appointments, those come to me. I’m still getting a few calls and people added to the list every day,” said Skelly.
“Working at the library, we help people find jobs, find their ancestors, with technology…and I feel like I get to help in a concrete and important way with this,” she added. “This service is an extension of what the library is and I feel honored to be able to be the one helping and impacting people’s lives. It has been a lot of work and lots of people are worried, dealing with a lot of negative emotions, so it’s nice to talk to them and allay their fears as I help get them a vaccine appointment.”
You can find more information and stay up to date on the Coronado Public Library’s current hours and programming on their website at https://www.coronado.ca.us/government/departments_divisions/library_services. If you’re in need of assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment, you can contact the library at 619-522-7390.