Keeping each other safe while serving our patrons

Rosemary Anderson

On Monday, the Latah County Library District reopened its libraries. We have missed you, our patrons, but still need your help in keeping our community safe as we strive to restore services.

All district branches and outdoor book drops will be open regular hours. At the Moscow Public Library, we ask patrons to return their materials only at the outdoor book drop, which recently received a makeover from artist Julene Ewert, thanks to the City of Moscow’s vinyl wrap art program.

While in the building at any of our branches, we ask patrons to wear a mask. All branches have a supply of free, locally-made cloth masks, child-sized and adult-sized, for patrons to wear in the library and take home. Wearing masks in the Moscow library is required, and highly encouraged in our branches.

At this time, the seven district branches also welcome patrons at limited capacity. The maximum number of patrons allowed in the Moscow library at one time is 25, fewer in the smaller branch libraries. Stays will be 15 minutes for browsing and 30 minutes a day for computer usage. Children younger than the age of 10 will need to be accompanied by an adult. Check the COVID-19 page on our website for more information about capacity limits.

Checking out materials won’t look much different. We ask patrons to hold their library card and materials up for staff to scan through the plexiglas. The self-check machine at Moscow has been reconfigured to allow touchless use.

Available computers will be limited at each branch. Public computers at all branches will be disinfected between each use. A sheet of plastic wrap will be placed on the keyboard and replaced for each new computer session. In between sessions, chairs, mice, tabletops and keyboards will be sanitized.

All returned materials will continue to be quarantined for 72 hours, as suggested by CDC guidelines. Patrons may not see materials removed from their account for a few days. But don’t worry — the materials are in the building and will be checked in soon. The district is now fine-free so no late fees will accrue.

At the Moscow library, curbside pickup of materials placed on hold will be offered 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and 4-6 p.m. Thursday. Check your local branch for curbside times. For more information, visit the curbside holds page at the latahlibrary.org website.

The Moscow library is now offering self-serve holds. Available materials on hold will be located to the right of our newspaper shelves, organized alphabetically by last name. Materials on hold may be checked out to the patron at the circulation desk or the self-check.

Available materials continue to be temporarily limited to items owned by our libraries in Bovill, Deary, Genesee, Juliaetta, Moscow, Potlatch and Troy. Patrons will not be able to place materials from other Valnet libraries on hold.

All events and programming will be offered online only. Our youth services and adult services librarians post frequent, free digital content on our Latah County Library District Facebook page.

This year, our Summer Reading Program looks a little different, too. From now until July 31, patrons are encouraged to track their summer reads through reading logs, prize entry forms, and bingo cards posted on the Summer Reading Program page at latahlibrary.org.

All performances will be posted live on the Latah County Library District Facebook page. As part of our Summer Reading Program, children and adult crafts and prizes will be available for pickup at every library branch.

As our local circumstances change, library services are subject to change as well. We truly hope a large increase in local COVID-19 cases does not force us to close again. We thank you for continued support as we navigate our new normals.

Rosemary Anderson works in the circulation department of the Moscow Public Library.

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