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Briggs Library has reopened four locations

Four locations of Briggs Lawrence County Public Library are now open to provide basic library services to the community including borrowing books, movies and magazines, computer use, copying and faxing. Briggs Libraries closed in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Joe Jenkins, the library’s executive director, announced that as part of the reopening, Briggs Library will be reducing its hours of operation temporarily and implementing new infection control procedures that follow state and federal guidelines for both staff and patrons.

The Ironton library opened Monday and the Chesapeake, Proctorville and South Point libraries open today at 10 a.m. New hours for the Ironton library are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Chesapeake, Proctorville and South Point will observe the same hours but will be closed Mondays.

Special hours for seniors and at-risk individuals are 10–11 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The Symmes Valley branch of Briggs Library, located in the Symmes Valley Elementary School, will remain closed. Pick-up services by appointment are still offered.

As part of new procedures to protect the health and safety of patrons and staff, the library will require all visitors and staff to wear face coverings – masks, bandanas, scarves or other types of cloth are acceptable.  Patrons who enter without a mask will be offered one. No services will be provided to anyone who refuses to wear a mask and that person will be asked to leave, Jenkins said.

Patrons wanting to check out books and movies will also be required to wear gloves while looking at items. These will be provided on entry.

The libraries have been rearranged to facilitate social distancing guidelines of at least six feet between all individuals around the circulation desk, in the stacks and at the computers. Chairs are only provided at the computers and WiFi stations.

Building occupancy limits have been reduced and are posted at each location. Only the front entrances may be used at each location, including the Ironton library.

Returned items may be placed in the outside book returns or in bins just inside the entryways of each location.

Returned items will be held in quarantine for three days, then cleaned, checked in and shelved.

The library staff will also be cleaning high touch areas, as well as computers and copiers after each use.

The library will not offer meeting room use, library programs, one-on-one technical assistance, interlibrary loans, exam proctoring or use of library phones.

“For the time being, we are asking patrons to spend only enough time in the libraries to select and check out items. Computer use will be limited to 60 minutes per person, per day,” Jenkins said.

To make the new procedures a little more palatable, patrons may now check out up to 10 DVDs or Blu-Ray discs, and a total of 20 items with a 14-day loan period. Overdue fines will be waived until further notice.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience these rules may cause, but the Library is taking steps it has a legal right to enact and which we feel provide the greatest level of safety to all of our patrons and our staff. We look forward to seeing you soon,” Jenkins said.