Carthage Public Library Reopening
May 13, 2020
On Monday, May 18, 2020, the Carthage Public Library will begin its phased reopening plan. The library will begin accepting returns of previously checked out materials through the book drop only. The book drop has been closed since the library shut its doors on March 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to ensure the health and safety of patrons and staff, the library has remained closed and is now moving cautiously to bring staff and patrons back into the facility. During our time of closure, patrons have had numerous opportunities to access virtual programs, the library’s vast collection of digital books and resources, as well as free Wi-Fi services in the parking lot.
The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone, and we are anxious to get back to serving our community in person. However, the health and safety of our patrons and staff remain our top priority. We need to make sure we are operating as safely as possible. Because of this, we are taking a phased approach to reopening our facility. We will be starting with contactless curbside service beginning Monday, May 18, as we continue to monitor the recommendations of government and public health officials and plan for the next steps.
To take advantage of our new curbside service, patrons may place holds online or by calling the library directly beginning Monday, May 18. A staff member will work with patrons to schedule a time for patrons to come by the library to pick up their materials between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Patrons will be instructed to pull through the book drop area where they will find a table with bags just outside the staff entrance. Simply pick up the bag with your name on it, no need to show proof of identity when picking your items up. Surveillance cameras are situated in that area for security. Patrons are then asked to pull through the book drop to return any materials that they have had checked out. All materials will be quarantined inside the library for 72 hours before being returned to the collection.
During the week of May 11, staff have been working to prepare for curbside service, sanitizing the library, preparing the library for social distancing visits in the future, and getting core operations running efficiently again. The library building remains closed, but we remain hopeful that limited in-house physical services can be reinstated in a few weeks. The library is continuing to work on obtaining masks, gloves, sanitizer, and cleaning supplies for its staff and has also developed new safety procedures for safely receiving and lending materials. Staff are being trained on these new procedures and on the use of personal protective equipment.
The third phase of the reopening plan is to open the library doors for limited services. Meeting rooms will be unavailable and there will be no in-house programs until at least August. We will continue to have multiple take home and virtual programs available including an awesome Summer Reading Program for all ages.
Check out our Facebook page and the library website for updates on our progress as well as services available to our patrons. Beginning May 18, feel free to call the library at 417-237-7040 to get personal help with your requests. Staff are eager to help our patrons in any way possible.
Our plans are fluid and we realize they may need to be adjusted as we move forward.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we move cautiously into the future.
Julie Yockey, Director