Director's Update. Rene Hutcheson explains what needs to happen before HCPL can reopen.
We are excited to learn that Gov. Beshear has determined that June 8th is the earliest reopening date for public libraries. We want to be transparent about what this means for us in Hardin County.
The Governor said specific guidelines for libraries will be announced soon. They will be posted on the Healthy at Work website. We don’t know exactly what reopening will look like yet. We do know that we won’t be allowed to offer many of our services in traditional ways. There will be new procedures and service limitations. Some of these may be temporary, and some may be long term.
Libraries have evolved into hubs of activity. They are designed to attract families and individuals to come together to learn, explore, play, and create. Libraries provide the opportunity to share resources such as books, computers, ideas, and experiences. Before our closure, it was common for 500 people to enter our building each day. We would have almost 50 people sitting in close quarters in our meeting room to experience a program together. Young children would play with toys and read books - and then minutes later another child would touch those same books and toys. In an environment that is designed for people to browse, linger, and share common resources - reopening in the midst of COVID-19 creates some concerns.
We’re eager to welcome you back, and we want to do it safely. This will mean we need to go slowly at first. We will be able to make more decisions once those additional guidelines are released. But preparations are underway and we have used this time of closure to disinfect our buildings and better organize our collections and work areas.
In the meantime, we invite you to take advantage of our new curbside pick-up service. This is an opportunity for you to check out printed books and audiobooks on a limited scale. Details are on our website and on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, we are still offering digital books through Overdrive and we continue to provide a variety of online adult, kids, and teen programs.
Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we strive to safely serve our library users. We will keep information posted on our website and through our social media channels. We hope to see you soon.