May 7th, 2020
Using recommendations from Governor Parson, local health department officials, and the Missouri State Library, the McDonald County Library, along with all public libraries in our state, have a preliminary tiered plan for re-opening our libraries. A formal decision to reopen our doors will be made and shared in the near future.
Safety for our staff and for you, our patrons, is of utmost importance. The very nature of a library is built on sharing materials, which is why we must take extreme precautions as we take steps toward opening up our wonderful libraries to the communities that we all care so deeply about.
Over the next couple of weeks library staff will be working at their branch locations to prepare their building for the new normal. Staff will be cleaning, re-shelving books that have been returned in our drop boxes, preparing virtual programming to replace in house programs, preparing a plan to provide curbside delivery and pickup of material, and readying the branches for social distancing when we do open for business again.
Let us assure you that all returned library materials are quarantined for at least three days to ensure that the virus will not be transmitted to staff or patrons. We will continue to quarantine materials for 72 hours before it is checked in and shelved. We will also continue to make allowances during these first stages of reopening by continuing to waive all fines.
We know it is hard to wait for materials, we think so to! That is why we hope that you have been able to stay connected to the library through the use of our free Wi-Fi access in the parking lots of our branches and also by making use of our e-material services. The library has been able to increase our budget for e-books and downloadable audiobooks, available with your library card, through Overdrive (Missouri Libraries 2 Go). Additional free resources can be found using Tumble Books and Ebsco Host, all available through our website www.mcdonaldcountylibrary.org.
Be on the lookout for information about our upcoming Summer Reading plans as well. It will be different this year, but it promises to keep you and your family reading throughout the summer.
Stay tuned for updates on our reopening plans. Please remember that our libraries are very popular and that we must keep the best health interests of all people at the forefront of our decisions.
Wishing you all the best,
McDonald County Library Staff and Board of Trustees