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Rockland Public Library offers services over phone, plans to reopen book returns

May 12, 2020

Rockland — As retail shops, restaurants, and services begin to open back up, we are being asked when the Library will do the same.

Presently, the Rockland Public Library continues to be closed to the public, but  is staffed Monday through Friday, and ready to help by phone, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 594-0310, refdesk@rocklandmaine.gov, and from the Rockland Public Library Facebook page via Facebook messenger.

The Library does not have a date for re-opening to the public yet, but we are working to develop safety protocols and new procedures that are in compliance with the Governor’s staged re-opening plan; this is being done with guidance from the Maine State Library, Maine CDC and Maine Department of Economic & Community Development.

We do anticipate that the opening will occur in distinct phases; once these are solidified, the Library will provide further information. The timing of each phase will be based upon prevailing conditions and best practices, to keep the community and staff as safe as possible.

The first phases of this plan will include re-opening the book return and implementing curbside pick-up. A national study has been commissioned by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help determine the lifespan of the virus on library materials and surfaces.

We will use this information to develop a process for quarantining materials before they recirculate, and for sanitizing other objects and surfaces. Once recommendations have been presented, we will train staff in safety protocols and begin accepting back materials in the outside book drops.

Items will then be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked in and re-shelved, because the virus can live for hours to several days on surfaces like books or other library materials.

Continue to hold onto Library items, for now; when we are ready to accept returns, we will send out notice all available ways. Again, you should not be receiving any bills or overdue notices at this time; if you do, ignore them. No newly-donated materials will be accepted until further notice.

We know you are looking forward to borrowing books and other material, and staff are working on the logistics for safe, no-contact curbside pick-up. This will be widely publicized as soon as it can be safely offered.

Staff continue to work diligently and are here to help with whatever questions you might have!  If you need access to the internet, the Library’s Wi-Fi is available in the Library’s parking lot. The network name and password are posted on the White Street entrance of the building.

While closed, staff are working on increasing virtual programming and social media content. To connect with us, go to the website at rocklandlibrary.org for links to our Facebook page and events, our YouTube channel, and Instagram account.

You may also receive the new Library Lowdown electronic newsletter, by emailing us at refdesk@rocklandmaine.gov and asking to be added to the distribution list.

We thank you for your patience and look forward to the day we can welcome you back in the library building safely.

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