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Why One Topeka Library Wants You To Share Your Pandemic-Related Stories And Symbols

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A roll of white toilet paper on a  wood floor with several squares unrolled and a protective mask where the paper stops
engin akyurt
A new exhibit opening in Topeka, Kansas, on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic features two obvious physical reminders — face masks and toilet paper.

A roll of toilet paper and videos remembering loved ones lost are featured in a new collection.

A Kansas history librarian realized waiting until the pandemic was over was not the time to begin gathering objects to illustrate this unique time in history. She explained what has been collected so far, and what will be done to preserve the artifacts for future study and remembrance.

"A Moment in Time: Our Local Responses to a Global Crisis" will be on display from Oct. 9 to Nov. 29 in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66604. Find more information at

Brian Ellison is a guest host of talk shows, newscasts, special coverage and community events for KCUR. Follow him on Twitter @ptsbrian.
Mackenzie Martin is a producer for KCUR's Up To Date, Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann, and A People's History of Kansas City. Reach out to her at or on Twitter @_macmartin.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.