County library will begin opening earlier in response to community input

TENNERTON – The Upshur County Public Library will be operating under new hours starting Monday, Aug. 3.

The current hours for the library are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The new hours will be Mondays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Director of the Upshur County Public Library Paul Norko said the hours change was in the works before coronavirus pandemic.

“The hours change actually came about before COVID-19,” Norko said. “Back in December or January, we started doing a community survey throughout the county and people, especially people that don’t live in Buckhannon, wanted us to be open earlier so they could come into town to do their business and then leave before it got really busy at noon.”

Norko said the library has reopened most services, except for certain programs like weekly story time.

“The biggest thing is that we are doing is a 72-hour quarantine period for all returns,” Norko said. “Basically, whenever someone checks in a book, or materials like a DVD or audiobook, it gets placed on a cart, and we keep it in an office for 72 hours and don’t allow anyone else, even if there’s a hold, to check it out.”

He said the library started quarantining these items after several studies found the virus is not transmissible after 72 hours on library materials. The first floor of the library also has a 15-person limit, while 12 people may also be upstairs at one time.

“Masks are mandatory per Governor Justice’s indoor mask order,” Norko said. “Every time someone requests to use or wants to use a computer, we basically have cling wrap over the keyboards, and we are also spraying down hard surfaces like tables with the chairs with disinfectant after every use, and every morning we also do extended spray on all the tables and all the railing handles and door handles in the library.”

Norko said if people opt not to venture inside the building, curbside service is still available.

“If people are uncomfortable with going into the library, we are still offering curbside pickup and service for just about all of our services, including checking in/out items, printing, faxing and notary service,” Norko said. “Just call ahead, and we’ll meet you at your car.”

He said they do not have an official date yet, but they are hoping to arrange a book sale in September as a fundraiser.

Information can be found on the library’s website or regular updates are posted on its Facebook page.

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