Though libraries in Kentucky were among the list of re-openings allowed Monday under Gov. Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work timeline, local library patrons as the COVID-19 pandemic continues will have to settle for curbside service for a few more days.
Lyon County Public Library Director Lee Ann Cummins said Thursday it will likely be next week before the facility reopens its doors. That is because at the time, Kentucky public libraries were still waiting on final guidelines from the Governor’s office. Cummins is also awaiting interior glass barrier installation to reduce the risk of staff and patrons possibly transmitting the virus to one another.
“Until we get these guidelines, we don’t know,” Cummins said of what library services will look like once the doors reopen.
The library closed its doors to patrons on March 17, but began curbside service on May 13 for people who make appointments. That includes delivering reading materials reserved over the phone and a few services like making copies. And free WiFi remains available from the parking lot. Those functions will continue to be available while the doors remain closed, and free at-home use of Ancestry.com continues this month.
Cummins said once the library restarts to in-person traffic under its roof, things will look a bit different … at least for a while. It will include social distancing and a reduction in capacity, likely at 33%. The meeting room, which has been unavailable during the shutdown to many local organizations and groups that utilize the space on a regular basis, will remain closed and used as a quarantine area for returned materials. And reading periodicals could require gloves.
“Some people have compared us to a grocery store,” the director said of questions about reopening, “but people don’t bring their groceries back.”
Because libraries involve a lot of hands-on interactions with materials, Cummins said the library need to be cautious about protecting its users.
Curbside service will continue even after the library opens to regular traffic.
“Some people may still not want to come in,” Cummins explained.
To make an appointment to pick up or drop off materials, call the library at 270-388-7720 from 8 a.m. weekdays through 2 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and noon on Friday. Items can be picked up 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 to 11 a.m. Friday.
Elsewhere, McCracken County Public Library continues curbside service and is slated to reopen its doors on Saturday.