Hello, library friends!
It's been a while. We thank you for your patience, kindness, and continued patronage. We've been working to create an environment that is as safe as we can make it and a plan that allows us to resume public entry as responsibly as we can.
We will resume public entry on Monday, Aug. 31, by appointment and with entry requirements. We will continue to offer curbside services as an alternative to public entry for those who want or need it. Operations are subject to change in response to local, state, and national guidance or in response to situations within our county, communities, and schools. Wi-fi continues to be available 24/7, with no password or library card required, from anywhere in the parking lot.
Members of the public who want to enter the library will contact the library to make an appointment. Walk-ins will be allowed if the schedule allows. Appointments will be made by household, and anyone living in the home can share the appointment time. Each household will be allowed one 30-minute appointment per day. Appointment times and limits will be enforced. During each appointment time, the household will be the only members of the public in the main library. GED is meeting in the genealogy and programming rooms, with similar requirements in place.
Appointments from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday will be reserved only for the elderly or members of vulnerable populations, including the immuno-compromised. These individuals are encouraged to inform staff of their need for the earliest appointments.
Per the governor's directive on face coverings and guidance from local, state, and national organizations, everyone age 2 and up must wear a face covering/mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times while in the library. Disposable masks are available for free, and three-layer cloth masks are available for purchase for $2.00 each. Everyone must sanitize their hands, wear gloves, or wash hands with soap and water immediately upon entry. Everyone must sign in and complete a health screening, including temperature check. Members of the public are asked to practice social distancing with non-household members while on library grounds. Children under 10 years of age must stay with an adult at all times.
The first stop upon entry is our wellness station, with an automatic hand sanitizer, disposable masks and gloves, and health screening log. We've constructed a plexiglass barrier around the circulation desk and rearranged shelves, computer stations, and furnishings to allow for greater social distancing and ease of access. We've added an automatic soap dispenser in the bathroom. Many of these modifications and improvements were made possible by generous donations from our community.
Staff are wearing masks and/or face shields, sanitizing their hands frequently, practicing social distancing, and increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of the library environment. Materials are being returned and will continue to be returned directly to the drop box outside the library entrance. Returned materials are quarantined for a minimum of 5 days in response to scientific research on the amount of time that COVID-19 is detectable on library materials. Library hours have been adjusted to allow extra time for cleaning and sanitizing and for preparing materials for checkout and pickup. Programs, events, and meetings are cancelled until we receive guidance that group gatherings can be resumed safely.
The staff of the Newton County Library and our Board of Trustees want to return to normal operations as much as you do. In the meantime, we are following the best available guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect and care for our community, staff, and families.
We look forward to seeing you very soon! Please contact us to schedule an appointment or for further information.
Your library loves you!
Kenya Windel, NCL Director