Libraries in the Tri-State begin reopening phases

Libraries in the Tri-State begin reopening phases

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - While libraries have been closed since March, digital books and other resources have been available, but the ability to hold a book in your hand has not been available.

That’s about to change as some libraries offer pick-up service.

Many libraries in the Tri-State are making a plan to offer contact-less services for you to get your library materials.

They are waiting to hear word on reopening libraries from government officials.

In the meantime, they’re changing their policies to make it safe for staff and you to enjoy your public library.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are,” Mason Cooley once said.

With travel plans and vacations on hold, we all could use a good book to take us on an adventure.

Public libraries are beginning to make that possible here in the Tri-State

“There is just a large subsection of people who want a physical book,” explains Union Township Library Manager Elyse French, “And even though they’ve been using our digital content, they still miss the act of holding a book.”

The Clermont County Library started curbside-contact less pickup Tuesday at all 10 of their branches.

They are operating on a condensed schedule from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but they say the first day was a big success.

“Libraries are not specifically named in the governor’s ‘Responsible Restart Ohio’ plan,” says Clermont County Library Director Christine Wick, “So different libraries across the state, everybody is doing it a little differently.”

The governors in both Ohio and Kentucky have not announced a reopening date for public libraries.

In Kenton County, they have submitted a phased reopening plan to the governor.

The proposed plan would include the staff wearing PPE, frequent disinfecting, social distancing, and when customers do return their books, the books and materials will be in quarantine for 72 hours.

“We certainly want to have all of our safety protocols and procedures in place to make sure that not only is the public safe, but our staff are safe and that it’s a safe place to be in the library,” adds Wick.

In Hamilton County, drive-thru services will begin May 26 at certain locations.

In Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties drive-thru or curbside pickup begins Monday.

Almost all libraries have suspended fines and extended due dates, so fines won’t accrue.

Those that work in the library say they miss their customers just as much as you miss reading books.

“Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone has told us how much they miss the library,” says French, “And we also miss them. Working in a library is not the same without all the people.”

To find out what your local library is doing, it’s best to check their website:

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