Negaunee Public Library announces plans for reopening

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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Negaunee Public Library has announced its reopening plans after being closed due to COVID-19.

The library’s advisory board and City Manager Nate Heffron have approved a five phase plan.

Phase 1, which will provide “minimal contact curbside service,” begins Monday, June 15. Patrons will be able to return library items in the dropboxes, located on Kanter Street outside Negaunee City Hall, and at the Negaunee Township Hall at 42 East State Highway M-35. Patrons can call the library at (906) 475-7700 ext. 18 or email npl@uproc.lib.mi.us to reserve a pickup time, to check out library items. Tax forms and free bookmarks can also be provided.

At curbside pickup, the library staff will wear a mask and gloves, and place items in a vehicle’s trunk or on an empty passenger seat. If the patron walks or bicycles to the library, staff will place the items in a dry location and move away to a distance of at least six feet, so the patron can pick up his or her items safely.

“We are adopting protocols for workspace cleanliness, and procedures for interacting with patrons and handling materials, to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19,” said Jessica Holman, library director.

To help kick off the library reopening, musician Troy Graham will live-stream a concert at 6 p.m. Monday, June 15, on the library’s Facebook page.

In Phase 2, which will occur later this summer, the library will offer expanded curbside services. This will include copying, faxing, and printing services, interlibrary loan, and summer reading programs. With increased exposure, staff will wear face shields as well as masks and gloves. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks as well.

“We have not set dates, beyond our initial reopening, due to the ever-changing nature of the situation,” Holman said. “It may be that at any point, we might have to revert back to another phase if there is an increase in cases in Negaunee. We would close if a staff member became ill with COVID-19. We want to check out books and smiles to our community, not viruses.”

Phase 3 will offer limited library access. Curbside services will continue. Masks will be required, except for infants and those unable to wear masks, and will be offered on a limited basis. The number of patrons allowed in the library space will be limited and enforced. Outdoor, socially distanced events may be held with permission of the city manager. Library items will still be quarantined and unavailable for 3 days after return.

In Phase 4, library access will be expanded. Computer use will be limited, and computers will be cleaned after each use. Small indoor meetings and events may be held. The library will heed guidance from health and city officials on whether masks will still be required, and whether items will still be quarantined upon return. Curbside services will still be offered.

The final phase, Phase 5, will be a complete reopening of the library. It will coincide with the widespread availability of a vaccine, or the end of the pandemic as determined by the Center for Disease Control and/or the World Health Organization. The library will function at full capacity and functionality. Curbside services will still be offered upon request.

“Even before the outbreak, we had patrons asking if we could bring items out to their cars,” Holman said. “I think we will continue to offer curbside service, even after we are fully reopened. It helps us serve everyone better.”

If you are feeling unwell, please do not visit the library.

For more information, contact the library at (906) 475-7700 ext. 18

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