Library eases into phase two of reopening
With Governor Beshear’s consent and a list of regulations to adhere to, public libraries all across the state of Kentucky are preparing to reopen on June 8 after a period of closure brought about by COVID-19.
Keeping community health and safety in mind, Marshall County Public Library will begin easing into phase two of their reopening plan on June 8, which will include expanded curbside pickup hours, limited public computer usage, and scheduled tours of its new Benton branch building.
Although construction of the new building was completed in mid-March, the library’s previously planned grand opening celebration was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. But as businesses and organizations begin to reopen across the state, library director Tammy Blackwell said they are excited to be able to offer scheduled tours and give the community an idea of what to expect from the new space.
"We know people have been anxious to visit the new building, and we've been anxious to let them,” Blackwell said. “We're excited to be able to offer tours and let people see this amazing new facility while we continue to work towards making it safe to resume in-person services."
Patrons who enter the library building are strongly encouraged to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines, as staff has been required to do. The library will continue to take steps to ensure a healthy and safe environment, including checking staff temperatures upon their arrival at the building, washing hands, and disinfecting returned material, hard surfaces, and workstations.
As curbside service continues to be a success at Marshall County Public Library, with over 1,600 items checked out to patrons in the first ten days of its reinstatement, its hours will be expanded to 9:30-4:30, Monday through Saturday, and book drops will be open 10-5, Monday through Saturday, at all branches.
People who wish to use a public computer should call their local library branch to set up an appointment to do so. Computer sessions will be limited to 50 minutes, and each station will be cleaned between users.
"The library serves a large number of at-risk patrons, and for that reason we are being thoughtful and deliberate with our reopening,” Blackwell said. “These are our neighbors and friends, and we're going to do everything in our power to expand library services while keeping them safe."
For updates on phase two at the library, visit marshallcolibrary.org or the library Facebook page.