Libraries will be allowed to open across Kentucky on June 8, but it will take some extra time for the Wayne County Public Library to prepare for the changes that will be mandated for reopening.

    Members of the library board met via videoconference on Wednesday, 
May 20 and discussed reopening the facility. Librarian Anne Garner 
told board members that she personally did not believe that the Wayne 
County Library will be ready to reopen on June 8.
    At this point, Garner said they have not received any information 
regarding the guidelines for libraries to reopen. After they receive 
that information, she expects it will take some time to put a plan in 
place for the local library.
    “The governor said specific guidelines and building capacity limits 
would be forthcoming,” stated Garner. “We don’t know exactly what 
reopening will look like yet. We do know that it won’t be ‘business 
as usual.’  There will be new rules, new procedures, and service 
limitations. Some of these may be temporary, and some may be long term.”
    She said that before the library closed it was common for 200 people 
to enter the building each day.
    “Many people each day touched the same books, computers, newspapers, 
tables, chairs and bathroom sinks,” said Garner. “It was common for 
50 or more people to sit in close quarters in our meeting room to 
experience a program together. Young children would play with toys 
and look at books, and then minutes later another child would touch 
those same books and toys. In an environment that is designed for 
people to browse, linger and share resources, reopening in the midst 
of COVID-19 has serious implications.”
    Garner said the library staff is eager to welcome patrons back but 
they want to make sure and do it safely. She added that this will 
mean moving slowly a first.
    “We have a lot to figure out in the coming weeks and we will be able 
to make better decisions once those additional guidelines are 
released,“ she said. “Only when we are able to have the necessary 
safeguards in place will we be able to open our door to the public. 
This may take longer than one would hope. There are many things to 
consider and we want to make sure that we always keep the safety of 
the public foremost in our minds.”
    She said as she receives more information, she will pass that on to 
library board members. Garner said that curbside service is 
continuing at the library, and it has become quite popular. People 
call ahead to request materials, which staff members collect for 
them. The materials are distributed outside the library.
    They have also been providing children with craft packages that 
include activities and books. Families can stop and pick up the craft 
packages and Garner said many children have been participating so far.
    She outlined plans for the Summer Reading Program, which will be 
operated in a similar fashion.
    She said signups are being held this week. Parents can call and 
sign up their children for the program. They can arrange to pick up 
summer reading bags and books for participants.
    “Summer Reading will have a new look this year, but children will 
still have a chance to have their names entered for drawings for 
prizes by reading books and participating in activities,” said Garner.
    At this point, Garner said there is sufficient work at the facility 
to keep staff members busy.
    In other action, the board:
    • Reviewed and approved the amended budget for the fiscal year 
2019-2020.
    • Director Garner to prepare a recommended budget for fiscal year 
2020-2021, which will be presented to the board during their June meeting.

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