Library switches to only curbside service due to COVID-19
In light of recent case numbers of COVID-19 in our community, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will return to curbside service only next week through at least the middle of December.
“We hate to close our doors to the public, but at this time, it seems like the most responsible action we can take,” library director Janet Harris said. “We will happily reopen as soon as the local caseload drops to a safer level.”
“Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.”
Harris said the library worked in cooperation with the Muhlenberg County Health Department and the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives to make this decision, after Wednesday’s new restrictions were issued by the state. Libraries are classified as “professional services,” which are required to close to the public when possible and to ensure that no more than 33 percent of staff are present in the building at any time.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will offer curbside service by appointment on the following days/hours:
- Monday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Tuesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The library will be operating with reduced staffing capacities and will remain closed Friday-Sunday each day. No appointments will be scheduled during the lunch hour, 12-1 p.m., to allow staff time for their own break.
The library will also be closed next Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Curbside service will be available at the above listed hours at both Harbin Memorial and Central City libraries.
Appointments will be required to allow staff ample time to gather, clean and prepare items for pickup. The library requests at least 24 hours’ notice.
To place an order for curbside pickup, contact the library by phone at 270-338-4760. Staff will take your order at that time and schedule a pickup appointment at the time and location most convenient for you.
You may also use the library’s online catalog to place holds on items you would like to borrow. Library staff will contact you when the items are available, and you can schedule your pickup appointment at that time.
When you arrive for a curbside appointment pickup, park in the designated area of the library’s rear parking lot and call the number posted on the signs. Please stay in your vehicle. A library staff member will bring your items out and place them in your vehicle.
Although the library will be closed to in-person use and no public computer access will be available temporarily, Harris pointed out that the library does provide free high-speed Wi-Fi in the rear parking areas. Anyone needing to use the Internet for work or school purposes is encouraged to utilize this free service.
The library also has a small number of mobile hotspots available for checkout. These items will provide Internet service (depending on mobile signal strength) at the patron’s home or other location.
These items cannot be placed in the library book drop and should be returned to staff at curbside service.
All other returned items should be placed in one of the library’s book drops. Book drops are available in both the front and back of each library building, as well as at Stewart’s Foodliner in Beechmont.
Harris said the library had hoped to avoid making the decision to return to curbside service only, but library personnel are also keenly interested in making sure everyone stays safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said, “This decision is not one we take lightly. We know that people enjoy visiting their library, and we love having those visitors.
“We hope that, by temporarily switching to curbside service only, we will be able to continue to serve our community in the safest way possible for all our community members as well as our staff.”
For more information about curbside service at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries or to browse the online catalog, visit the library’s website at http://www.mcplib.org.