Libraries are allowed to reopen under phase one of governor Laura Kelly’s plan for the state, but Marion county libraries are in no rush.
“I don’t think they thought it through very well,” said Janet Marler, director of Marion’s city library. “Books hold a lot of germs and a lot of people handle them.”
Peabody Township Library has been open by appointment to offer essential computer access to patrons, said library director Rodger Charles.
Those services include bill payment, sending, and receiving faxes. The services are still limited to 10 people at a time, he said.
Both Hillsboro and Marion libraries plan to offer curbside pickup service for books.
Hillsboro’s service started this week. Marion plans to offer the service “in a few weeks.”
Patrons may call or email and request an item from the card catalog for pickup.
Hillsboro’s staff will bag, mark and place patrons’ items on a table in the front hallway of the building and they will be notified when their items are ready.
“Technically it’s not curbside. We have a table in the hallway,” said Hillsboro librarian Jeanie Bartel.
Book drops at the library are still open and there are no fines during this time, she said.
Staff at Marion city library plan to pull items and deliver them to patrons in their cars.
“That would seem like the safest way right now,” Marler said.
Charles said Peabody will open checkout of materials on May 12.
“Everybody come in and get what you want,” he said. “But we are not going to allow the continued ‘hanging out’ here. Come in, find your books, check them out, and leave.”
Peabody plans to reopen its library for regular services on May 26, but its meeting room will only allow 10 at a time, he said. Neither Marler nor Bartel can give a time frame for reopening.
“We do not know,” Bartel said. “We are taking it week by week.”
Marler said they will move to reopen when the board feels they are able to keep staff and patrons safe.
“We do have ebooks, that’s been a life saver,” she said. “Still people are wanting books.”