Lake County library helps seniors sign up to receive COVID-19 vaccines
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 12, 2021 at 9:58 PM EST - Updated February 13 at 12:13 AM on cleveland19.com )
MADISON, Ohio (Great Health Divide) - Signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t been easy for many people who qualify in Ohio right now.
And for those who don’t have computer or internet access, it’s been even harder.
Now, a local library is stepping in to help.
Seniors started showing up at Madison Public Library in Lake County about two weeks ago, asking for help.
“We don’t know how to do this. Can somebody help?” said library director Deeanna Culbertson.
She said signups have been confusing.
“We had a gentleman come in; he’s 82. He has no cell phone, he’s never had an email, he doesn’t have a computer at home, he has no family to help him, and he was worried. He was like, ‘I need to get this vaccine, can somebody help me, how do I do this?’” she said.
So now they’re trying to spread the word that they are here to help if you need it.
“We know there’s a lot of people that don’t have computers at home, people that don’t have smart phones, people that don’t have email addresses. So how are they going to get the vaccine or know what to do if somebody isn’t there to help them?” Culbertson said.
“Here at Madison, we’ve been looking at what’s going on in our community. We’ve tried to stay open as much as possible and let people come in,” Culbertson said.
Library workers are setting up seniors with emails, signing them up with the health department, even waiting online digitally for them.
“So we’re saying, we’ll let the computer run, if you don’t want to wait for the three hours, we’ll call you if somebody says, hey there’s a vaccine available, we’ll let them know and give them a call,” Culbertson said.
They’re even loaning out hot spots for people who don’t have internet, which has helped young people too.
Their goal is to help provide equal access for the vaccine and education.
It’s a reminder of just how essential our local libraries are.
And in many communities, they are struggling. Many are still closed because of the pandemic.
“We’re here for our community, that’s our purpose,” Culbertson said.
Culbertson said one of their employees who is helping seniors sign up is a Guiding Ohio Online Learning Coach.
“(His) services are made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the State Library of Ohio,” she said.
If you need help scheduling a vaccine and live in or near Madison, you can stop by the library.
They’re taking precautions during the pandemic.
To get help scheduling a vaccine, contact the library at 440-428-2189 option one or email email@example.com.
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