Seven Cobb County Public Library Branches Reopen
Seven Cobb County Public Library branches, among the largest in the county and closed to the public since mid-March, will reopen starting on Monday, July 6, officials announced Thursday.
The seven libraries are East Cobb, Mountain View, North Cobb, Sewell Mill, South Cobb, Vinings and West Cobb. Hours of operation will be Mondays, 10 am to 8 pm; and Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 am to 6 pm.
These facilities will open with limited services for the public aligned with safety and health guidelines of Cobb County and public health authorities for preventing the spread of coronavirus, officials said.
The reopening of these libraries is the second phase of the plan for opening access to library books and other materials. Curbside service for patrons to pickup available hold items was launched June 10th at the same seven libraries.
Under this reopening phase, library patrons are asked to limit visits to browsing, completing library account transactions like checking out items, picking up available reserved materials, and renewing or signing up for a Cobb library card. A limited number of public computers will be available for reservation.
Casual visits of more than a few minutes to the libraries and sitting down will not be possible under the health and safety guidelines for maintaining social distancing for reducing the community spread of COVID-19, officials said. Study and community meeting rooms will remain closed to the public.
“We know from the many people connecting with us over the past three months how reopening our library is recognized as vital for the community,” said Cobb Library Director Helen Poyer. “Although library visits will typically be shorter than normal, we are committed to expanding access to library resources.”
Cobb library staff members are wearing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) gear and will undergo safety training before the reopening date. The public is encouraged at the libraries to wear masks, practice social distancing and sound hygiene.
Cobb County policy adopted on June 1 requires all individuals seeking to enter Cobb government buildings, including public libraries, to undergo screenings each day for signs of possible COVID-19 infection to protect Cobb employees. The policy, which applies to the public and county employees, will be in place until further notice.
Public libraries throughout the United States are engaged in the inherently complex planning involved in the reopening process to prevent COVID-19 infections just as healthcare, education, retail, hospitality and other sectors are facing the same challenge. This process has strengthened Cobb libraries as an institution even as it’s been a tough hill to climb, Poyer said.
“I am deeply grateful to the library team members and our peers in Cobb County departments for collaborating in developing the library’s reopening plan,” Poyer said. “I’m inspired by the resiliency shown by our team in making the many ‘heavy lifts’ necessary to reach Chapter 2 of our reopening plan while keeping a positive spirit of service.”
For information on Cobb County Public Libraries, visit www.cobbcat.org or call 770-528-2320.
Tom Brooks, MPA
Cobb County Public Library System