The Putnam County Library District will be reopening its doors on Monday, June 29, for patrons to re-enter the branches.
This marks the first time since March, patrons will be able to check out materials from inside the library. Holds that were placed in March before the libraries closed will be coming in transit shortly.
Patrons will notice some changes around the library, but the changes are meant to ensure health and safety among everyone.
Patrons are required to wear masks when they enter the branches. There will be shields at each desk for safety purposes between staff and patrons. Materials returned will continue to be placed on a seven-day quarantine before other patrons are able to check them out. Patrons should continue to maintain the 6-feet apart rule. The 6-feet apart rule does apply to upcoming programs as well. It is recommended to continue to listen to the programs online preferably.
Bernie Egan, library clerk at the Granville branch, is looking forward to welcoming back the patrons she hasn’t seen in months. She said before COVID-19, the library wasn’t just a place to check out books, it was a community center where people gathered and caught up on the everyday topics. Egan said that camaraderie has been sorely missed and she looks forward to catching up with community once again.
The library district is working to do what it can to provide programs in a safe manner. In-person children’s programs have been put on hold, because of a concern for safety among the young children. Online children’s programs continue to be offered on Facebook and Zoom.
Egan said she has a book club with 16 members who won’t be able to meet inside the library, but discussions are ongoing about the possibility to meet outside in the park where people can safely social distance and take part in the book discussions.
Egan said she and the fellow library clerks are committed to doing what they can to provide a safe environment that offers as much as it can to its patrons. While libraries weren’t listed as essential at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Egan stressed that they are essential for the soul of the community. They have become a destination and many take advantage of the endless resources it offers to patrons.
Visit putnamcountylibrary.org and use their online catalog, search.prairiecat.info, to find materials. Patrons can also view the online digital library collection with ereadIllinois, Hoopla, Overdrive/Libby, Kanopy, RBDigtial and Universal classes.