Gina Millsap, Library CEO
“The library is thinking of this proposed timeline as being on a dial,” said library CEO Gina Millsap. “We may move the dial forward to offer more hours and services, but we may also move it back to ensure that we are following the most current recommendations from local health officials.”
Our plan was agreed to at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees May 6, 2020. The plan includes the proposed dates for access to materials, the building, computers and other services, and is in accordance with the Shawnee County Health Department recommendations.
Since March 16, when the library closed the building, staff have been focused on ramping up online access to collections, services and programs. Staff have been working remotely to provide library services digitally and providing remote WiFi services in the community. Reference and information services via chat, email and phone are available seven days a week. Virtual job search help, storytimes, book discussions, community conversations and computer classes are available through Facebook, Twitter or Zoom online meetings.
We’ve spent a significant amount of time planning for reopening, including implementation of COVID-19 safety procedures and restrictions. The COVID-19 virus can live for hours to days on surfaces like books and other library materials. Libraries nation-wide are awaiting the results of a research study sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and conducted by the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Batelle Research Institute to confirm how long books and other materials like DVDs should be quarantined before making them available for checkout. It is anticipated those results should be available within the next month. On May 26, 2020, the library will begin curbside delivery by request and will be quarantining books and other materials for 72 hours to prevent the live virus from being transmitted to library customers.