Library to Reopen in Phases
The Marshall County Public Library will reopen using a phased approach beginning May 18 when bookdrops will reopen on select days of the week, followed by the reinstatement of curbside service on May 20. Bookmobile porch drops will also be available to patrons who call the library and schedule them.
After seeking guidance from the Marshall County Health Department and the Kentucky Public Library Association, the library’s management team has constructed a reopening plan that includes three phases and will serve to ensure the safety and health of all staff and patrons.
“Libraries are different from most other organizations because we lend material,” said library director Tammy Blackwell. “Books and DVDs are constantly changing hands and going from one home to an-other. Additionally, there are more shared surfaces in a library setting than other organizations, especially when you consider how many items the average patron touches before selecting their material.”
Since material lending creates a unique set of problems for libraries, Blackwell said it is their manage-ment team’s goal to be very thoughtful and purposeful in addressing these issues.
“We are thankful to the Marshall County Health Department for their guidance and assistance on helping us construct a plan that has community health at its core,” she said.
Drop boxes will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Benton; Tuesday and Thursday at Calvert City and Hardin. All library material placed in the dropbox will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours and then cleaned with disinfectant before being placed on the shelves. All li-brary staff will be required to wear gloves when emptying the drop box, cleaning, or shelving items.
No late fees will be charged until August 1 and patrons are encouraged to take their time with material.
When curbside service is reinstated, patrons may call the library to request items to pick up. Staff will be required to wash their hands before gathering, checking out, and placing material in a plastic bag labeled with the patron’s name and placed on a cart outside the library doors. Once patrons have arrived in the parking lot, they will be asked not to leave their car until the staff member is back inside the library.
Staff will be required to wash their hands upon reentering the building.
“Like the rest of the world, we're using a phased approach to reopening the library,” Blackwell said. “Our primary goal is to keep both our patrons and our staff safe. We will continually evaluate the situation to see what changes and adaptations need to be made to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our entire community.”
For updates on the library’s reopening, go to marshallcolibrary.org or visit the library’s Facebook page. Bookmobile patrons wishing to schedule a porch drop can call the library at 270-527-9969.