Book Drops at Most County Libraries Now Open
June 3, 2020
Outside book drops reopened today at all but two Cobb County public library locations. No book drop service will be available at Windy Hill Community Center Library or Switzer Library in downtown Marietta because that facility is under renovation. This opening is a step in the first of the reopening phases for Cobb libraries since the facilities closed in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff reported to libraries today for safety training and to continue facility preparations. Staff will also begin quarantining returned items, processing hold requests and inventorying the collection.
To guard against exposure to the virus potentially lingering on surfaces, returned items will be in quarantine bins for a few days before library staff process the books, audiobooks and other items for circulation. Patrons will continue to see returned items on their accounts until they are released from quarantine and checked in. There are no late fees on materials originally due during the library system’s closure. The due date for all checked-out materials is extended to June 10.
Upcoming reopening phases also include curbside services weekdays at seven libraries starting in June to enable patrons to pick up reserved holds. The locations are the Mountain View, East Cobb, South Cobb, West Cobb, North Cobb, Sewell Mill and Vinings libraries. The same seven libraries are tentatively scheduled to open with limited services in mid-June. Expansion of limited services to the remaining libraries, except Switzer and Windy Hill, is anticipated to start in early summer.
Library visitors will notice Cobb librarians and staff wearing personal protection equipment, including face masks and more. Cobb Library Director Helen Poyer said extensive behind-the-scenes efforts to protect the safety and health of library patrons, librarians and library staff have been ongoing since before libraries temporarily closed in mid-March. Guidance from Cobb and Douglas Public Health and support in planning for reconfiguration of furniture and library spaces for social distancing by the Cobb County Property Management Department are among the collaborative efforts in developing the reopening plan, she added.
No date has been set for complete, unlimited public access to Cobb libraries. Like area restaurants offering grab-and-go takeout service, library patrons will be directed to limit library visits to checking out items during the limited services phase. The public is encouraged to watch for updates on library operations through each reopening phase at cobbcat.org. For information on Cobb libraries, call 770-528-2320.