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COVID-19 temporarily closes local library

Library website offers online resources, activities

 

The Lincoln County Public Library (LCPL) is temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

LCPL Director Amanda Gearhart said Monday this week that the library has been closed temporarily “out of an abundance of caution,” and, being a public place, the library is taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“In talking with the health department, we’re just being extra cautious,” she said. “Because we are a public place where a lot of people come, we’re just making sure all of the staff are healthy and well and that we aren’t spreading.”

Gearhart said as soon as the results were reported the library was immediately shut down and the building was cleaned.

“Then our regular cleaning staff is there three times a week in the evening,” she said.

A notice was placed on the door to the library, as well as online and on the LCPL Facebook page, giving details about the closure.

“If you were in the library between Tuesday, September 22nd and Friday, September 25th, you may have been exposed to a COVID-19 case,” the notice reads. “Per the Lincoln County Health Department, monitor for symptoms in you and your family. If you have additional questions, please contact the Lincoln County Health Department at 606-365-3106. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at kycovid19.ky.gov.”

“Then our regular cleaning staff is there three times a week in the evening,” she said.

The library is expected to reopen on Monday, Oct. 10 and resume the modified hours of Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The curbside pick up will be available again on Monday, as well, Gearhart added.

LCPL patrons can go online and reserve up to 10 items per family, she said. Library staff will then call to arrange a time for pick up and the items will be placed on the table outside when the patron arrives.

LCPL staff members are available to assist patrons by phone, email or Facebook messenger.  No fines will be charged for the days the library remains closed.

 

LCPL website offers activities, resources for all

The library building might be closed, but Gearhart said patrons have a plethora of online activities, resources and information they can access from home.

The library’s website, www.lcplinfo.org, has several resources, including the “Digital Library,” Gearhart said.

“There’s a great spot on our website; it’s called the Digital Library. It’s one of the first things people can click on,” she said.

In order to utilize the Digital Library, you must have a digital library card, or a regular library card.

“If they don’t have a library card or they don’t have their card for whatever reason or can’t find it, the very first thing they can do is apply online for a library card,” Gearhart said. “We check our system and see, and if they do have a library card, we email them and let them know the information to log in.”

Gearhart said having an email address is important for the process.

“That gives them access then to all of the online resources of the Digital Library,” she said. ”

The Digital Library features Kentucky Libraries Unbound, which is a statewide shared collection of eBooks, audiobooks and videos available for check out.

“There’s a lot of options there,” she said. “But there can be long wait times on popular materials.”

The Digital Library also offers Hooplah, which has no wait times, Gearhart said.

“Hooplah has audiobooks, eBooks, comics, a whole section of comics, videos and kids stuff,” she said. “The great thing about Hooplah is there are no waits, everything is always available…now, there are limits on how many things you’re allowed to check out.”

Freading is another service offered under the Digital Library tab, which provides eBooks with no waiting times. Gearhart said the set up can be frustrating for those using iPads, however. Patrons can contact library staff if they have issues setting up for the service.

For those looking for documentaries. Indie Films or classic movies, Kanopy, a streaming video service, is also an option under the Digital Library.

History buffs and researchers can also access several genealogy resources under the Digital Library tab.

“Right now, Ancestry Library Edition, typically that’s something you can only access in the library but because of COVID-19, Ancestry as a company has opened up the library access so people can use it from home,” Gearhart said. “It’s temporary. They would need the KYVL username and password. They would have to contact us to get the username and password.”

Newspapers.com can also be found under the Digital Library tab, which is a search engine for historical newspapers from across the Southeast region.

For those in search of occupational or learning classes, Universal Class is available on the library website and offers over 500 online courses.

“There’s stuff from career training and business to parenting, crafts and hobbies, real estate…and that’s all from your home computer,” Gearhart said.

Similar to Universal Class, the library website also features the LearningExpress Library, which offers GED, ACT and Career Prep exams.

“This is a way to help supplement some skills that need to be built up before they take those tests or maybe just need a little extra help in an area,” she said.

Gearhart said there’s a whole library world online for patrons to utilize. There are also links and information posted regularly on the LCPL Facebook page, including StoryTime for children with Amanda Wheeler.

For more information visit www.lcplinfo.org.