Library curb service begins May 18, system won’t reopen until June 1

Posted 5/6/20

Scenic Regional Library will remain closed through the first phase of Gov. Mike Parson’s recovery plan announced this week but will offer curbside service at all branches beginning Monday, May …

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Library curb service begins May 18, system won’t reopen until June 1

Posted

Scenic Regional Library will remain closed through the first phase of Gov. Mike Parson’s recovery plan announced this week but will offer curbside service at all branches beginning Monday, May 18.

Monday, June 1, is the target date for reopening at full service.

Curbside service hours are scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays, 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through May 30.

All libraries will be closed May 25 for the Memorial Day holiday.

Patrons will be able to call their local branch and arrange to pick up holds or items they’ve selected. Additional details about curbside service are still being decided, according to library officials.

Additional information will be sent to patrons in an email blast and on social media prior to the launch date. Most library staff will report to work on May 16 — the day after Missouri’s state of emergency ends — and begin to check-in and shelve thousands of items returned during the closure.

In the library system’s monthly newsletter, the process was detailed:

Returned items have already been quarantined on tables in each branch’s meeting room for several weeks. Staff will also need to check-in and process thousands of interlibrary loan items which have been stored by the statewide courier in a warehouse in St. Louis. Items will also need to be quarantined at the library for at least 72 hours before being handled by staff or checked out to patrons.

The library decided not to reopen during phase one of the governor’s plan for several reasons related to the coronavirus.

Unlike foods purchased in a store and consumed, a library item can be circulated to multiple people. Materials delivered from other facilities by courier, or returned items, are quarantined for 72 hours to eliminate the threat of a live virus remaining on an item.

Scientific studies have deemed libraries medium- to high-risk environments for the transmission of coronavirus. Also, social distancing guidelines will make it impossible to assist patrons on the public computers or, due to their proximity, for the library to even have every computer available for use.

Children’s toys and games are expected to remain in storage due to difficulty in disinfecting them.

Staffing presents another issue for the library. Over one-quarter of the library’s staff is either over the age of 60 or have health conditions which could make them vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. Scenic Regional is in the process of purchasing protective gear and equipment for staff.

• All checked out items will not be due until June 15.

• Library cards will not  expire until July 31.

• All Library programs, meeting room use, and outreach events are canceled at least six weeks after the facilities open up again, possibly longer, or around July 15.

• Do not return items while the library is closed.

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