We are in a unique position as a community anchor and trusted center for public information. Our library administration is staying up to date on developments concerning the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and are taking steps to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.
On average, close to a thousand people visit our branch locations and Bookmobile every day. The library employs 40 staff and numerous volunteers. Hundreds of items are circulated each day. This raises concerns about limiting exposure while continuing to provide services critical to our community.
At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in our local area. However, we want to assure the public that library officials are observing safety measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In response to those recommendations, disinfectant wipes are available for public use at the Information Desks at the Sandpoint and Clark Fork Libraries. Patrons are encouraged to wipe down computer keyboards and other surfaces prior to use. We have placed hand sanitizer at all service desks and have posted signage with hygiene reminders throughout the library. Staff are disinfecting all handles and surfaces prior to opening and throughout intervals during open hours. They are instructed to stay home if sick.
Effective immediately, all library events, interlibrary loans, and Homebound Services have been canceled until further notice. The Community Meeting Rooms are closed, as is the Teen Lounge.
Many physical library materials in our branch locations are available in electronic format through the Digital Library page. EBooks, e-audiobooks, eMagazines, digital newspapers, as well as movies, television show series, and music streaming are accessible with a local library card number (unfortunately, universal card-holders do not have access to some digital services). Tutorials for first-time users can be found by clicking the tutorials button on the right edge of the website and are posted in the Digital Library. Staff are happy to help patrons access digital versions of library materials.
The handling of materials may be reduced due to last week’s library catalog software update. As of last Monday, physical materials will be automatically renewed on the due date (up to three times) when no one else is waiting for the item.
We are monitoring the protocols for local schools and other public entities regarding closures and other measures and will communicate any changes to our regular operations in a timely manner. We are committed to providing trustworthy information and updates regarding the disease’s local impacts with the public.
News changes quickly. The information contained here may have changed. Updates regarding service limitations and potential changes to our regular schedule of operations are posted on the website homepage. We will use all of our available communications channels to keep you informed.
Marcy Timblin, Public Relations and Marketing