Carnegie Public Library set to expand hours

By Sarah Nichols - Carnegie Public Library Director

As of Monday, Carnegie Public Library in Washington Court House will expand its open hours.

The expanded hours will be Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am. to 2 p.m., and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Special hours for seniors and at-risk individuals remain Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library’s Curbside Pickup Service for library materials will continue Mondays through Fridays. The Jeffersonville branch remains closed at this time.

The temporary reduction in hours enables staff to more effectively and efficiently sanitize high-touch surfaces each hour, and maintain quarantine protocol for circulated library items. Recently, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and OCLC, working in partnership with Battelle, published the first findings of the REALM (RE-opening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) project to determine how long the COVID-19 virus survives on common library materials in an effort to reduce or eliminate transmission.

The study found that the virus is not detectable on five common library materials after three days. Since reopening, the library has quarantined each returned item for at least 72 hours before checking the item in and returning it to circulation.

Print items used inside the library like newspapers, microfilm and local history materials, are unable to be reasonably quarantined and can be used by patrons at their own discretion. Public use computers and copiers are sanitized after each use. Other items, such as children’s toys and play items, have been temporarily removed from public areas.

Soon, the library’s SEO consortium deliveries will resume. With a backlog from March, and more than 150,000 item requests in the queue, holds will be fulfilled in daily batches until the system is up-to-date.

The library continues to encourage social distancing and the wearing of masks out of respect for others. Additionally, the library continues to observe a limited building capacity and restrict gatherings. Public meeting room use and in-person library programming have not yet resumed. However, the library continues many virtual and live programs through Facebook and YouTube.

Staff are enthusiastically offering storytime, nature programs with Fayette Soil & Water, crafting, geography, Tech Tutoring and more. Visit for the library calendar of summer programs events, or stop by the library to browse or sign-up for the Summer Reading Program.

By Sarah Nichols

Carnegie Public Library Director