Mount Sterling Public Library set to reopen on June 1

(Posted May 26, 2020)

Following two-and-a-half months of having its doors closed to the public, Mount Sterling Public Library will reopen its building on June 1.

New rules will be in place for visitors:

  1. No matter how much you missed your librarian, do not hug your librarian.
  2. The hours from 10 to 11 a.m. will be set aside for vulnerable patrons. Staff members also can bring items out to patrons or pick them up from patrons outside if necessary.
  3. The maximum occupancy for the building is 15 people.
  4. Patrons must limit visits to the library to 45 minutes per day.
  5. Patrons will be limited to one computer 45-minute computer session per day.
  6. Patrons are asked to be respectful of others by wearing a mask if medically possible.
  7. Responsible adults must accompany children younger than 12 years old.
  8. Social distancing should be practiced at all times.

Policy and Operational Changes

Some of the library’s policies and procedures have changed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

  • Plexiglass dividers have been installed at the circulation desk.
  • All staff must wear masks or have a doctor’s excuse on file.
  • Staff members must take their own temperatures prior to arriving at work. If not, they must immediately use the thermometer at the library prior to beginning the workday.
  • Work hours for every staff member have been cut due to budget impacts and mandated social distancing in workspaces.
  • Staff members clean high-touch areas multiple times a day and must wash their hands frequently.
  • Returned items are quarantined and cleaned three days prior to being put back into circulation.
  • The library has made its Wi-Fi available to the public outside of the building.
  • In March, the library started issuing library cards via phone and email.
  • The staff continues to offer reference and research assistance over the phone.
  • The library bumped up the amount of user checkouts for Hoopla Digital.
  • The library still offers Acorn TV for free for library card holders.
  • The library still offers free access to more than 6,000 different courses for many occupations with Lynda.com by LinkedIn.
  • Ancestry Library Edition is free through the library’s website through June for library card holders. It is usually reserved for usage inside libraries.
  • HeritageQuest is similar to Ancestry with the same availability.
  • Fold 3 is available free through the library’s website with a library card. It provides access to hundreds of thousands of military records.
  • Chilton vehicle repair reference is available for free through the library’s website.
  • Ohio Digital Library is free on the library’s website.
  • Downloading is available for ebooks, audio books, magazines, comics, graphic novels, music and more.

Statewide material loans

Statewide delivery of interlibrary materials will not resume until 85 percent of the state’s libraries are operating again. Until then, Mount Sterling Public Library and Carnegie Public Library of Washington Court House have agreed to share resources. The agreement doubles the number of items available for reserve. Customers may reserve items through the catalog of either library. Also, the staff will take phone requests at (740) 869-2430 to search both locations for available items.

Hopes are that statewide delivery will resume by July at which time customers can start borrowing from all 241 locations.

Summer Reading Club

The 2020 Summer Reading Club starts June 1. The theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Children, teens and adults are invited to read or listen to 10 books, record the titles, and turn them in for prizes. For every 10 titles submitted, a participant receives a raffle ticket for grand prize drawings at the end of summer. Among the prizes are children’s bicycles, a Kindle for adults, Bluetooth earbuds, and gift sets of popular books.  The last day for reporting titles is Aug. 1.

Normally, the library offers educational programs throughout the summer as part of the reading club. At this time, state restrictions do not permit programming. If the state lifts restrictions, then programs may be scheduled for later in the summer.

Curbside Service

The library continues to offer contact-free curbside pickup during regular hours: 10 a.m.- 7p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

Other library news

The Around Town Book Club will meet via Zoom at 7:15 p.m. May 28 to discuss “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. For information on how to join the meeting, send email to  reece.melissa.b@gmail.com.

Ladies Night Out movie nights likely will not be held for at least the remainder of the calendar year due to lack of space for adequate social distancing and vulnerability of some of the participants.

Applications are still available for the Marjorie Hanson Memorial Scholarship for $1,500 through Mount Sterling Friends of the Library. The scholarship is open to 2020 Madison-Plains High School graduates or homeschoolers who are graduating in 2020 from an accredited school and living in the Madison-Plains School District. The deadline is June 1.

The Friends of the Library are selling handmade fabric face masks at Two Hands Coffee & Creative Studio, 48 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling. The masks come in two styles and are priced at $4 for ties and $5 for elastic. This is the only fundraising the Friends are conducting at this time. All other fundraising efforts have been postponed for the foreseeable future. All profits from the mask sales will go toward the purchase of library materials and equipment.

The Friends will resume meetings via their Facebook Messenger group beginning in June. Meetings will take place at 7:15 p.m. instead of the original 6:30 time on the second Tuesday of the month. Anyone who wishes to join can send a direct message to the library’s Instagram account or Facebook page.

Mount Sterling Public Library is located at 60 W. Columbus St. and online at www.mtsterlingpubliclibrary.org. Call (740) 869-2430 for more information.

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