Ocracoke Island’s public library has moved to the Deepwater Theater for the summer months, thanks to a partnership between BHM Regional Library, Ocracoke Friends of the Library, and Ocracoke Alive.
The Ocracoke Library at 225 Back Road was among hundreds of structures that flooded during Hurricane Dorian last September. The library building is a shared school and community resource, and is located on the Ocracoke School campus.
School officials have plans to elevate the library building, repair the storm damage, and restore the library space. The work will begin this summer, with high hopes to have it finished for the new school year. An expansion of the library, funded by Ocracoke Friends of the Library, is also in the planning stages.
The new temporary library is open as of July 1. Deepwater Theater is located at 84 School Road, just past Books to Be Red, and across from the Methodist Church.
The temporary library will be open weekdays from 1 – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The library will practice COVID-19 prevention protocols, only allow 5 patrons at a time inside, and will limit patrons to 30 minutes a day.
The library offers Wi-Fi, laptops, a printer/scanner/copier, Ocracoke-themed reference books, and used books for visitors. BHM library cardholders can check out books and DVDs. Monetary donations for used books support Ocracoke Friends of the Library, which is funding the temporary library location with help from a grant from Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board.
The annual Summer Reading Program theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Activities will include online story times and programs, book grab-bags, and craft kits for kids of all ages, and visiting families are welcome to pick up Summer Reading Program activities.
Ocracoke Alive, the arts-based community non-profit that manages Deepwater Theater, offered the newly-renovated temporary space to the library. Due to COVID-19, Ocracoke Alive won’t be hosting indoor shows this summer. While planning for some outdoor performances in the neighborhood, Ocracoke Alive saw an opportunity to help out the Ocracoke Library through the end of August.
In October 2019, the library found a temporary home at the WOVV 90.1 community radio station studio lobby, also located on the school campus. With the summer approaching and the need for social distancing due to COVID-19, the radio station needs their lobby area. The library staff would like to thank WOVV for their eight months of generosity.
The library has seen a tremendous amount of support after Dorian from its off-island friends, with donations large and small from individuals, schools, churches, and organizations.
“We appreciate all the help we’ve received,” said Ocracoke branch manager Sundae Horn. “So many people have been generous with donations of money, new books, and used books. We also love the Books to Be Red gift certificates, which help both the library and a local business. Thank you all for thinking of our little library in its time of need.”
Most of the library’s collection, including used books, has been put into storage until the building is restored. Please refrain from bringing used book donations to the island this summer.
The library storage is full. The library will welcome your donations after renovations are complete.
Keep in touch with Ocracoke Community Library via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ocracokelibrary/.