CATLIN — The Catlin Public Library has been proud to serve the people of the Catlin Township for more than 40 years.

In the interests of public safety and as part of a coordinated community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library made the difficult decision to close its doors in mid-March and provide service via electronic resources and in other ways that did not expose staff or patrons to undue risk. The library reopened this week, and wants to share changes with the public.

The library’s first priority will be to continue to protect the safety of staff and patrons. The library staff has created a plan for reopening that reflects these priorities and is based on the best practices recommended by the CDC and local health officials. This plan may incur revisions that may be made in coming weeks and months as the health situation in our community evolves.

Some elements of this plan include:

• Shortened hours of operation, with specific hours designated for elderly and high-risk patrons

• A requirement that all persons, staff and patrons, in the public areas of the library wear a mask covering nose and mouth at all times while in the building

• Expectation that patrons use provided hand sanitizer or wash hands before handling library materials

• Limits on use of public computers and study tables

• Careful handling of library books and materials by staff to ensure that library materials are not vectors of transmission for the COVID-19 virus

• Limits on time spent in the building

• All children’s toys and activities put in storage

• Continued delivery of story times and library programs in online formats only, with take-and-make crafts available to pick up in the library twice in a three-week time period for the virtual annual Summer Reading Program.

The library board of trustees appreciates the patience that patrons have provided as the staff has responded to this very unusual situation, and hope the reopening of the library doors, even in a limited way, helps all patrons feel a bit more normal.

Call 427-2550 or visit Facebook, Catlin Public Library, for more information.

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