Santa at the Library canceled

    Due to the dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases in the area and the closure of the James Memorial Public Library to walk-in patrons, the Friends of the Library have announced Santa at the Library will be canceled this year. The library will keep the building closed to the public for now and will reevaluate every two weeks and base their reopening strategy on the number of cases in the area.


    “There have been many inquiries regarding our beloved Santa at the Library event. It is with heavy hearts that we must cancel the event this year,” the Friends of the Library said in a post on Facebook last week. For the past several years, Santa at the Library provided families with a fun way for kids to meet and have their photographs taken with Santa, enjoying live music and Christmas stories, playing games, and enjoying cookies and refreshments.
    “We are seeing a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in our area. The library has been closed to the general public and will continue to be while COVID-19 numbers are elevated. The Friends fully support the library’s choice in minimizing the potential for spread,” the post continued. “Our main priority is the safety and health of our dedicated volunteers, library staff, and our community. We are looking to the future when it’s safe to gather.” The Friends of the Library, which is a volunteer group of library supporters, wished the community a safe holiday season.
    The library will continue to operate curbside pickup for patrons wanting to check out books. Community members can call, email, or Facebook message the library and books will be checked out and brought out to the patron’s vehicle for pickup.
    Current library hours of operation for curbside pickup are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:45 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1:45 p.m.
    To check out a book, call 573-265-7211, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or send a message on the James Memorial Public Library Facebook page. Librarians will continue to monitor the number of cases in Phelps County and will announce their plans to reopen when the case numbers drop to a safe level.