The Daviess County Public Library is set to open to the public Monday.

Per Gov. Andy Beshear’s timeline, aquariums, distilleries, libraries, limited outdoor attractions, museums, horse shows and some childcare programs are allowed to open back up June 8.

“We have to limit the capacity and number that come in,” library executive director Erin Waller said. “We haven’t received guidance from the state, so we are limiting our in-house patron count based off of what has already been allowed to be open. For us, that is 180 people. While we are ‘opening’ back up, we still encourage people to utilize our curbside delivery service.”

Initially, the library, at the behest of Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Commissioner and State Librarian Terry Manuel and Beshear, decided to close its doors to foot traffic beginning March 16, following the actions of several libraries across the state.

No foot traffic meant that library staff had to get creative in finding ways to deliver upon the various summer programming that those in Daviess County have come to expect. Luckily for the community, the library already had a robust online and social media presence that has become the perfect outlet for delivering at-home programming — a practice that the library hopes to adapt moving forward, Waller said.

“It has gone so well and we have found a stride to do it,” she said. “I can’t imagine we won’t do it; it feels like it here to stay. We are hoping to utilize it as an added service.”

For those who choose to come back into the library, they will be met with things like plastic guards protecting staff and limited computer time, Waller said.

“Computer time will be limited to 30 minutes,” she said. “There will also be a time in between a new user for us to be able to deep clean and sanitize the station. We will also not be implementing in-person programming or notary services for the time being. We will continue our COVID policies, and I encourage people to continue using our curbside service and e-resources.”

While staff is still at 50% capacity and the “reopening” will be a modified approach, the library staff, even working from home, has worked tirelessly to ensure the needs of the community have been met, Waller said.

“Words cannot describe the effort that our staff have put into programming or keeping our services going for the community,” she said. “We had the malware attack and rolled right into the pandemic, and they didn’t miss a beat. I take great pride in the fact that while many organizations were forced to suspend services that our library staff were creative and committed in keeping our library alive and offering the services our community expects.”

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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