Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library has announced its plan to reopen in stages.
The library announced it will follow recommendations outlined in the state’s five-stage plan to open its economy, along with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On May 6, the library opened and patrons began returning library materials, but the building remains closed to allow staff to safely handle materials after the materials have sat for three days without being touched to avoid exposing staff to the new coronavirus.
All library due dates have been extended through July 1, and no overdue fines will be charged until after that date.
Patrons are directed to only use the library’s drive-up drop boxes to return materials when the library is open. Patrons should not leave materials outside the library. If the drop box is full, they are instructed to return their materials another time.
On May 11, during Stage 3 of the library’s reopening plan, it began offering curbside pick-up of materials. Only a select few, during scheduled times, by appointment only, are allowed to pick up materials that have been put on hold. The facility will remain closed to the public while it is prepared for reopening May 26 in Stage 4 of the library’s plan.
During Stage 4, the facility will reopen to the public with a 50 percent capacity cap. Library staff is working to add safety equipment and directional signage to the building in preparation.
Library officials will continue to follow recommendations from the state and CDC to determine when it may move to Stage 5. Details will be announced as they are finalized, according to the library.
Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Executive Director Sarah Moore said the library has two goals as it reopens: To keep staff and patrons safe and to provide needed services to the community.
“We are doing everything we can to keep people safe,” said Moore said, noting that the steps include securing personal protective equipment for staff and mandating 6-feet social distancing and installing Plexiglas guards for service desks.
“What we wanted to do was build in enough time for us to have all of the equipment we needed to open safely,” Moore said. “This is an entirely new world for us and we are trying think of all the different aspects of the library and what being open is going to mean and trying to have a plan for that.”
The library will continue to provide virtual programming during its gradual reopening, including tutor.com, which provides live homework help for students as they are taught remotely.