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AT THE LIBRARY: The library is reopening slowly

“O snail

Climb Mount Fuji

But slowly, slowly!”

— Kobayashi Issa


That haiku about patient persistence pretty well describes the process by which the library will be reopening over the next couple of months.

As you have probably heard, the library staff is back in the building, all returns are being accepted and limited curbside service is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Here’s what’s happening at the library now.

Library staff is being trained to accept returns according to guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal and State governments.

Those guidelines stipulate that all returned items must be disinfected, boxed, quarantined for nine days and then re-disinfected before they can be returned to shelves. That caution is necessary to protect the health and safety of library staff and patrons.

To maintain good social distancing and sanitation practices, patrons will not be able to access the building for the time being.

Library staff will be on hand for all phone inquiries and to assist patrons with requests for books, magazines and DVDs by phone at 744-5661, by staff email available on the contact list available at clarkbooks.org or via the library’s Facebook page.

Library staff are also ready to provide curbside delivery of materials, which is limited to five items at a time for the next few weeks. You will be able to call or email for materials. Your request will be collected and bagged. When it is ready to pick up, you will be notified, and a time will be set for you to pick up.

To keep staff and patrons safe and healthy, there are clear guidelines in place for every step of the materials fulfillment and delivery process.

It’s also important to understand that because of quarantines, items will not be readily available as they were in the past. Please be patient. We will get items to you as soon as we can.

Regular Bookmobile service will not be available right now to group residences like nursing homes and assisted living sites, but outreach librarians will be making deliveries to other patrons who cannot come into the library.

Public access computers will be unavailable for at least the next few months. There is no way to keep public access computers sanitized on a patron-by-patron basis.

The library’s WiFi is on and available to people in the parking lot, however, and reference librarians are waiting to help assist with computer issues whenever possible by phone.

Keep up with how the reopening process is progressing by visiting the library’s Facebook page, or feel free to contact me with questions at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.

The goal right now is to provide possible services as safely as we can.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the little amenities of life that we took for granted because they weren’t “life or death” are now just that.

Thank you for your kindness and patience during this difficult time. It will be a great day when we can see each other again at the library.

Library programs online include:

— Meeting of Minds Zoom meeting, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Join Meeting of Minds, Zoom edition, by emailing Adult Services Librarian John Maruskin at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com

— Bright Spot Book Group, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, discusses “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. The ebook and audio book are available through Hoopla. A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947 are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

— Write Local Zoom meeting, 10 a.m. to noon Fridays, May 22 and 29. Write Local is the library’s writing workshop. To join in through Zoom, email Adult Services Librarian John Maruskin: and john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.