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Library to reopen on Monday

The Boyle County Public Library is pleased to announce that it will be open to the public beginning Monday, June 22, 2020. Patrons will be able to browse the shelves and pick out their own materials to borrow. 

Services available at the library include in-person check out, limited public computer access, printing and copying, faxing, and notary services. Curbside pickup will also continue with its current schedule on Tuesdays through Fridays.

“We are so happy to welcome our patrons back into the library,” says Library Director Georgia de Araujo. “Libraries are not meant to be empty, so next Monday is going to be a wonderful day.”

The building will initially be open to the public Monday through Friday. For the week of June 22-26, in-building services will be available from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For patrons utilizing curbside pickup, items will be available until 5 p.m. and the doors will lock at 5 p.m. These hours may change as necessary.

“While having to close the library in March was a difficult decision, making preparations and setting a timeline for reopening the library in the midst of a pandemic has been even more challenging,” says de Araujo. “We are a busy library; we serve a broad community and some of our regular library users fall into higher-risk categories for being vulnerable to COVID-19. We are very concerned that we make the library as safe as possible for our staff to work in and our patrons to visit.” 

Library staff will be following the “Healthy at Work” guidelines, which include enhanced cleaning, social distancing, wearing gloves when appropriate, and wearing face masks on-site. The library asks all patrons entering the building to wear masks as well unless a medical condition prevents that. The library has a supply of free disposable masks that staff will be giving out at the main entrance for patrons to use while in the building.

These new guidelines also mean the library has made some changes indoors to keep patrons safe when they return. Upon entering the library building, patrons will find that the interior looks different in order to meet the safety guidelines. 

Patrons (or family groups) are expected to maintain six feet social distance from one another and staff at all times. The new traffic flow will help maintain safe distances, and signage will direct patrons where they need to go. Sanitizing stations are now located throughout the library to be used freely by anyone who wishes.

To further aid with social distancing, seating is reduced to provide more areas for people to move around. In the children’s library, additional precautions have been taken. The new books are now located on a cart near the entrance of the children’s department so they can be found more quickly, and the shelves are cleaned and straightened throughout the day. 

Some areas that are more difficult to keep clean have been blocked off or removed. The blocks and board games are currently put away, the gazebo and train are temporarily closed, and the children’s computers will be unavailable. 

The library is encouraging patrons to “grab and go” when selecting their materials since the number of people in the building must be limited. Staff will be monitoring different areas in the building to make sure it doesn’t get overly crowded. “Because we’re asking people to not linger as they gather their books and AV, we expect traffic flow through the building to be fairly smooth and speedy,” says de Araujo. 

If the library reaches its adjusted capacity, incoming patrons will be asked to briefly wait outside. If certain sections (such as the children’s library) reach room capacity, patrons will be directed to wait in other areas of the library. 

Those who have been browsing for a longer time will be encouraged to make their selections and make their way to the check-out stations. Staff will be available to help make the “grab and go” process easier.

The reopening of a library poses some unique challenges. Libraries are typically places where people are able to attend programs, sit and read, or leisurely browse the stacks, but those activities come with some safety concerns now. 

This current phase of reopening will take all necessary precautions into account to maintain safety guidelines. “We will reopen on June 22 and pay close attention to how things go — the flow of traffic through the building, the places where patrons might need extra help. We will make changes as necessary as we navigate this new way of doing business,” says de Araujo.

Patrons who prefer to use curbside pickup to check out materials can do so by contacting the library Tuesday-Friday between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. either by phone: (859) 238-7323 or by email: library@boylepublib.org. 

Most items will be available for same-day pickup between 2 – 5 p.m. More information about this service can be found online at boylepublib.org/curbside-pickup. Notary services are available by appointment. Please call the library or email library@boylepublib.org to make an appointment. All other services, including public computer access, are available on either a walk-in or check-in basis.

The library has a growing list of programs that will continue to be offered virtually throughout the summer months. These virtual programs include storytimes, STEAM activities, Minecraft Club, Dungeons & Dragons, special events, Job Q & A, and more. 

All of these events are announced on the library’s Facebook pages: The Boyle County Public Library and Boyle County Public Library Children’s Programming, and are listed on the library’s website BoylePubLib.org under Events. 

Many can also be found on the library’s YouTube channel. Teen events can be found on Instagram at @boylepublibteens. Special events, like “Mark Wood’s Magical Fairy Tales” show can be viewed at BoylePubLib.org/SummerReadingPresenters for a limited time.

The library is excited to welcome the community back inside and wants to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to use the space and materials while maintaining safe distances. 

The Boyle County Public Library serves the city of Danville and the surrounding communities, and is actively committed to enriching the lives of its patrons. The library is located at 307 West Broadway in Danville, KY.