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Vienna Public Library continues service during pandemic

Kaity Carson, associate director of the Vienna Public Library, is masked up at her desk and ready to assist. (Photo by Jenna Pierson)

VIENNA — The Vienna Public Library is still open to the public and providing services amidst the pandemic in the hopes of keeping the love of education and reading alive and well.

“We were closed for about two months at the beginning of the pandemic, but don’t plan on completely closing again unless there is a state-wide shutdown,” said Brenna Call, the director of library services.

Since they reopened, Vienna Public Library has taken various precautions to assure the public of their safety in the building. According to their website, the library is open to up to 15 people at a time in order to enforce social distancing.

“We are quarantining all returned library materials for up to seven days and sanitizing materials before entering them into circulation again,” Call said. “Masks must be worn inside at all times by staff and patrons, and hand sanitizer is being provided in multiple parts of the library. We have also introduced enhanced cleaning measures such as disinfecting surfaces after each check-out and cleaning computers and restrooms after each use.”

The library has also been participating in curbside services, which means that interested patrons can call for a specific book or document that needs to be copied or faxed ahead of time and never have to enter the building.

Although the library is currently open to the public for browsing and equipment use without an appointment, Call anticipates that will soon change in light of the rising number of COVID cases in the local area.

“We will likely be providing curbside services only starting on Nov. 23,” Call said, which is Monday. “This includes scheduling pickup of any library material as well as pickup of copies or faxes. Patrons can come to the outdoor book drop located on the Neale Elementary side of the building and give us a call when they get here to pick up their items.”

Despite the stall for in-person gatherings, the library is still coming up with creative ways to keep both young and old minds active and bring families together.

In the spirit of this effort, the Vienna Public Library hosts weekly live virtual events on its Facebook page which range from virtual storytimes to adult crafts, according to Call. More information is available by searching @viennapubliclibrary.

“Also, we are planning our first all-virtual Holiday Reading Challenge,” Call said. “The challenge will take place from Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. Sign up or login using Beanstack and complete reading sessions and activities for a chance at winning prizes. Prizes will be awarded to all age groups, children through adults.”

According to Call, the Vienna Public Library also has an outdoor storywalk in the works of production down at Spencer’s Landing in Vienna, and she anticipates that it will be done within the next two weeks, with more details to come.

For more information, visit www.viennapubliclibrary.org or call 304-295-7771.

Jenna Pierson can be reached at jpierson@newsandsentinel.com

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