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Limited Reopening!

We’re happy to welcome you back!

The Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County is pleased to announce that we will be returning to our regular hours and welcoming patrons back into the building as of Monday, June 22, 2020.

It is critical, however, to remember that we are still in the midst of a pandemic.  The Library takes the safety precautions we have put in place very seriously, and we ask our patrons to do the same for the health of our staff and our community.  The possibility exists that depending on the number of cases in Garrett County, we may be forced to return to curbside service or close once again for an extended period, and we apologize in advance should this become necessary.

What restrictions will be in place?

  • Masks are required in the building for both staff and patrons over the age of two.
  • All patrons are asked to maintain a social distance of 6’ between one another.  We have taken steps to help with this, and as a result, some computers have been taken offline and some seats removed.  Additionally, we have marked waiting points for our patrons in line to check out materials to help ensure social distancing.
  • Wipes and Saran Wrap will be available for patrons to use in sanitizing and protecting public keyboards. 
  • Computer assistance from staff may be limited due to the need for social distancing, and we apologize for that in advance.
  • Due to the Health Department’s guidelines, only up to 50% of any building’s maximum capacity will be allowed in at any time.
  • We ask patrons to please ensure that children with them respect the social space of others.
  • Patrons or staff showing the symptoms of COVID-19 are asked not to join us, or may be asked to leave if necessary.
  • Coffee will not be available for purchase. 

What if I have books to return?

The book return slots have been reopened and we appreciate your returning all materials there.  Due to health concerns, we will not be able to accept materials returned by hand.

What’s going on with late fees?

Late fees will be resuming after July 1.  Since we will still be quarantining all materials returned for four days, there will be a delay between the time they’re returned and the time they’re checked in – we will ensure that you are not fined for those quarantine days.

Can I request materials from Washington or Allegany County? 

We have started to once again receive materials from Washington County, although due to the delivery schedule having to be modified by the pandemic, they may be delayed more than usual.  We are currently unable to receive holds from Allegany County at this time.

What about interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loan will unfortunately remain unavailable for the immediate future.

When will you be opening the buildings more fully and/or withdrawing your social distancing measures?

Any further loosening of restrictions will depend on guidelines from the State and from the Garrett County Health Department. 

When will you be holding events again?

Again, that will depend on the guidelines set by the State and the County’s Health Department, as social distancing will have to be loosened further for programs to be viable.  At this point, sadly, we do not anticipate holding any Library programs at our facilities through the summer. 

What if I have materials to donate? 

Unfortunately, we remain unable to accept donations at this time. 

How do I know the books are safe?

All materials, once returned, will still be quarantined for 96 hours to ensure that any potential for contamination is removed, following best practices recommended by the State Library Resource Center. 

 

Thank you for your patience everyone – we’ve missed you a lot and are very glad to see you all again!

Thomas Vose, Library Director

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