Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will reopen for curbside service only on June 1.
The libraries will be open limited hours, and no members of the general public will enter the building during the curbside phase. Items may be ordered by phone and picked up outside the library at appointed times.
Library director Janet Harris said a final reopening date, when the libraries will welcome the public into the buildings again, is still up in the air. “We’re working through the process of figuring out how we can safely reopen without endangering our guests or our staff,” Harris said. “That will require a lot of changes to our buildings and operating procedures and will take a lot of extra protective equipment and supplies.
“But we want to continue to serve the community in every way possible, and for now, that means curbside service.”
Beginning June 1, library users can call the library at 270-338-4760 to request items and to set a pickup time. Staff will take curbside orders on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and items will be available for pickup by appointment on Tuesdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Central City and on Thursdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Harbin Memorial in Greenville.
These dates and times are subject to change.
Users should be ready to give their library card number and PIN over the phone when they place their curbside orders.
Harris said appointments will be required to pick up reserved items. “That way staff have plenty of time to pull the items and prepare them for pickup, and we can make sure we don’t have too many people waiting outside to pick up their orders at one time,” she explained. “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of illness, including following social distancing guidelines.”
Library patrons can also still utilize the online catalog available on the library’s Web site to see what items are available, place holds, pay fines and more. Patrons will be contacted by library staff when a held item is available for pickup, and an appointment will be set at that time.
Harris said staff will wear masks and gloves when they prepare orders for pickup, and when ready, orders will be bagged and set aside in an isolated location until they are picked up.
A pickup area will be set up at the rear of each library location. The library’s phone number, along with a special phone extension number for pickups, will be displayed prominently outside the rear doors so curbside users can inform library staff they have arrived. A staff member will bring the user’s order out and place it in the vehicle’s trunk or an unoccupied seat.
All users are asked to remain in their vehicles or at a safe distance until the staff member has returned to the library.
Please be prepared to show your library card or other identification if needed.
All items must be returned in the library’s book drops. No returns will be accepted directly by staff members. For convenience, there are book drops located at both the front and rear of both library locations.
Newly returned items will be quarantined for at least three days before they will be available for anyone else to check out. All items will also be cleaned thoroughly after the quarantine period has expired.
“We are excited about being able to offer curbside service to our users, but we want to make sure that we do everything right,” Harris said. “We want to help keep our community healthy and safe.”
For more information about curbside service at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries, you can contact the library through the contact form on their website (http://www.mcplib.org) or on social media, or you can call the library at 270-338-4760 beginning June 1.