The James Memorial Public Library closed on Thursday, March 19, as part of efforts to slow the COVID-19 virus and to ensure the safety of patrons of the facility. Plans are to reevaluate the length of the shutdown on April 6, but books will still be offered to the community through curbside service for patrons.
“We are closed to the public, but we still have our book drop off available. We will also be offering curbside service. (Patrons) can call and let us know what book they want and we’ll bring it out to them,” Head Librarian Linda Ray said. On the library’s website, a full card catalog is available to view and library staff can bring the books a customer wants out to them without the need to enter the facility.
The goal is to limit the number of people gathering together or interacting in a public space while the virus is still spreading across the state and the nation. The library board, working on the most recent advice of health officials, deemed it best to close the facility to the public, but operations will remain as normal as possible. Library hours will remain the same except for shortening Thursdays hours and not being open on Saturday.
“No fines are accumulating through all of this,” Ray said. Anyone with late books will be forgiven during this time. Ray encouraged patrons to utilize the drop box at the entrance to the facility to return books and staff will be collecting and disinfecting them for use by others.
All events, groups, programs, and other activities are canceled until it is deemed safe to resume normal activities. Niki Moen will be streaming on Facebook Live every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. with a virtual story time for families to enjoy as well. The live streams will remain on the library’s Facebook page, so families do not need to be tuned in only during the actual stream, but can stream the video at a time that works best for them.
Library staff will be working to ensure the disruption is minimal to patrons and will take every step necessary to make this process as seamless as possible until a time when the facility can resume normal functions. Anyone wanting to schedule a book pickup or who has questions regarding the change of operation can contact the facility at 573-265-7211.
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