On Monday, June 8, Carnegie Public Library in Washington Court House will reopen to the public at 10 a.m. with a few differences.
For the time-being, the reopening will have limited hours of service and access to the building. Temporary library hours will be Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. have been designated for at-risk and elderly community members.
Although the library is open limited hours for public access, curbside service will continue Mondays – Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the library returns to full hours.
“As we enter Phase III of the library’s reopening plan, the library board of trustees, and library staff and administration wish to extend sincere gratitude to our community for their patience and support throughout this period of closure,” explained Sarah Nichols, library director. “We want nothing more than to throw open the doors and return to serving our community in person. However, caution is warranted.”
Libraries are unique gathering places. Storytime and other programs, computer use, and book browsing are all activities that inspire a slower pace. In particular, pondering over pages and enjoying an activity with fellow parents and children are often shared experiences. And, unlike many businesses now open, the library is big on exchanges.
“Our physical collection moves from hand to hand and location to location,” said Nichols. “We are using the greatest amount of recommended precaution, quarantining materials for at least 72 hours before returning items to circulation, and are still awaiting research results tailored to library materials. We are soon ready to welcome you back, but with some limitations. We have reduced library hours temporarily, to more effectively and efficiently maintain a new sanitization and item quarantine routine, observe social distancing and limited building capacity, and restrict gatherings until we are ready to move to our next phase.”
Although statewide delivery of library resources is not available at this time, it will return soon as well, and there will be a great deal of catch-up as library staff unpack and process holds for patrons, some of them as far back as March.
“Again, we appreciate your patience and support. We have delighted in providing items through curbside service, and ‘seeing’ patrons online at Storytime and other virtual programs. See you soon,” said Nichols.