Wayne County Public Library reinstates limited library services

DGKN staff report

WOOSTER  Although Wayne County Public Library locations and bookmobiles will remain closed to the public, the Library is moving forward with its plan to safely reinstate limited library services, according to a news release.

“We are putting the health and safety of our patrons, our staff, and our community first by reintroducing services based on a carefully planned and research informed approach,” according to Library Director Jennifer Shatzer in the news release.

The first part of the plan is to begin accepting the return of checked out library materials. Beginning May 13 and continuing for the next couple weeks, book drops will be open at the Main Library in Wooster on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Materials may be returned at branch locations (Creston, Dalton, Doylestown, Rittman, Shreve and West Salem) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bookmobiles will be visiting stops to pick up returns only. The Bookmobile pick up schedule can be found on the library’s website.

Because it is possible that the novel coronavirus might live on surfaces like books and other materials for hours to days, the library will be quarantining all returned materials for at least 72 hours, the current best practice based on recommendations from the CDC. By returning items, the library can begin the quarantining process and help our patrons get library materials out of their homes. Returned items will remain on patron accounts until after the items are removed from quarantine. There are no fines on any library materials, even materials from other libraries, during this time.

Staff are working on plans for the next phase of service: curbside, self-service or drive-up window pick up, depending on location. More details about this process are in development and will be announced soon.

While closed to the public, the library has been making preparations to facilities to ensure that patrons and staff will be safe when the library is able to welcome people back into their buildings.

“We are in the process of adding plexiglass guards to all our public desks and moving furniture to conform to social distancing requirements. We are also looking at our policies and procedures, acquiring the necessary PPE and cleaning supplies, determining limits to the number of people that can be in the building at one time,” stated Shatzer in the release. “Additionally, we need to determine the level of service we can provide moving forward.”

Unfortunately, because of recent reductions in library funding, the Library imposed a hiring freeze and furloughed 58 part time staff members.

Library hours and service levels may not return to what they were before libraries closed because of the pandemic, the release states. Wayne County Public Library is in the process of reevaluating services.

WCPL continues to offer online access to a variety of collections, services and programs, including story times. Free WiFi access continues to be available outside of all library locations. For more information and updates to library hours
and services, visit wcpl.info and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/waynelibrary/.

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