Catawba County News
Library Reopens to Public
Published: May 08, 2020
Beginning Saturday, May 9, the Catawba County Library will open its doors to the public for the first time since March 17, restoring direct access to computers, library materials, and other in-house resources.
Operating under Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138 Requirements for Phase One Retail Business Openings, the library will implement limited occupancy, social distancing, and safety protocols that support public health needs while also delivering the important services that county residents depend on.
The Sherrills Ford-Terrell, Southwest, and St. Stephens branches will operate with their pre-COVID service hours. The Main Library at Newton will be open from 10 am-7 pm Monday-Thursday (note the new hours) and 9 am-6 pm Friday-Saturday. The Claremont, Conover, and Maiden branches will reopen at a later date to be determined.
To accommodate library visitors safely under these new state requirements, the library will put into practice the following procedures:
- Limited and Timed Access: In order to maintain social distancing and sanitizing guidelines, a certain number of patrons will be permitted to enter the library at any given time. Each one will check in with a staff member for a one-hour period of access. When the hour is up, that patron will exit, and the next person in line will be admitted. Patrons are encouraged to call ahead to check on availability and potential waits. We also ask that customers with COVID-19 symptoms do not join us at this time.
- Signage and Markings: To help with social distancing and the formation of orderly lines, signage and painted/taped guides will be installed at the entrances to the buildings and inside each branch.
- Enhanced Safety: The library has installed service desk shields and has provided face masks and face shields to staff members. They will wear gloves and sanitize high-touch surfaces (computers, keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, furnishings, etc.) between customer use. Customers are encouraged to wear masks and to use sanitizing supplies provided at the library.
- Staff Health: All staff will be screened daily for symptoms and will not be allowed to work if they are unwell.
- Meeting Spaces and In-House Library Programs: Thesewill be reintroduced at a later date as safety restrictions allow.
Customers who are not yet comfortable entering a library building may continue to take advantage of curbside pick-up service at the Newton and Sherrills Ford-Terrell locations. Books, audiobooks, DVDs, and other materials may be reserved through the library’s online catalog (www.catawbacountync.gov/library) or by calling any branch for personal assistance. Library team members are ready to help with your information needs by telephone as well.
The library also offers a robust selection of digital resources that are available 24/7 from any location where patrons have an Internet connection. A library card and PIN number are typically needed to sign in and electronically borrow books, movies, music, graphic novels, magazines, and more. Free databases can also help with career and job development, training and certification, legal forms, ancestry searches, personal learning and research, language learning, and early childhood literacy. In addition, the library has laptop computers and Wi-Fi hotspots available for checkout, and customers can place a hold or contact their library about availability.
The library will continue issuing automatic renewals and isolating returned materials for 72 hours, with no late fees.