The Dr. Firmo Cardoso library, founded in 1965 and the only public library in the city of Barcarena, Pará, started the year 2020 with big plans. Partnered with Recode since 2018, when it joined the Recode Libraries program, the institution has always sought to do more than lend books, also offering in-person courses and workshops with reading, science, and technology activities.

However, March arrived and with it, the pandemic gained strength throughout the country. As a result, there was no alternative but to close its doors and operate differently.

The library then began to assist with social registrations and the delivery of basic food baskets. Additionally, it shifted its engagement focus to the virtual environment, assembling a team that made it to the final round of the Recoders Challenge. One of the members, Leonardo Guerreiro, even won the “ProgramAction with App Inventor” cultural contest. “Our library is a diverse space. In it, you can find not only printed knowledge, but a world of possibilities that can also be developed in the digital world,” highlights librarian Kuézia do Nascimento.


As the municipality no longer registers severe cases of Covid-19, the library reopened its doors in July. However, the institution needed to make a major overhaul to adopt the measures recommended by the World Health Organization and thus maintain the safety of employees and visitors. “We are only working with book returns and scheduling for those who need to study for the Enem. All with masks, distancing and maintaining proper hygiene of the space”, highlights Kuézia.

For those who still cannot go out, the library maintains a series of online activities, such as video cultural contests that can be recorded and sent from home. The activities offered by Recode follow the same line, with all courses on the platform adapted for the virtual environment. “Recode keeps us active with the launch of campaigns in which we can engage young people even at a distance. The courses keep our users qualified to face a society that now, more than ever, needs to ally with technology”, concludes the librarian.