Indiana Daily Student

Monroe County Public Library to close building, move back to only curbside services starting Monday

Monroe County Public Library on Kirkwood Avenue will return to only providing curbside pickups due to a higher number of COVID-19 cases in Monroe County.
Monroe County Public Library on Kirkwood Avenue will return to only providing curbside pickups due to a higher number of COVID-19 cases in Monroe County.

The Monroe County Public Library will move to curbside services only beginning Monday in response to rising COVID-19 cases, according to Communications and Marketing Manager Mandy Hussey. 

“Ultimately, we looked at the numbers in the local area and we’re seeing things start to trend upward,” Hussey said. “With the holidays, we know that in general a lot of people are going to be choosing to travel to see family and friends.”

The library does not expect to reopen the building to the public through early 2021, according to a Nov. 23 press release.

The drive-up window will also be closed during this time, but patrons can continue to checkout materials by scheduling an appointment. The library's hours will be unaffected by the change.

The public had been permitted in the library since September at limited numbers however, meeting rooms and teen spaces were still closed. Hussey said about 25% of their normal guests were returning in recent months.

One library employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 24. The employee did not interact with the public and the library discovered the case after the decision was already made to move to curbside services.

While closed to the public, library employees who are not protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act will still be expected to work in the building. 

“We’re all here and we’re going to continue to be here as long as we have all of our safety precautions in place,” Hussey said. “I think those have worked extremely well for us.”

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when the library expected to reopen the building. The IDS regrets this error.

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