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Local libraries re-open with virus precautions

After being temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russellville Public Library and Weatherford Public Library are opening their doors.

The Weatherford Public Library resumed operations June 1 after being closed almost three months, and Russellville Library began its gradual re-opening June 8.

“We are trying to make sure we do everything we can to ensure the safety of everyone,” said Weatherford Public Library director Linda Ezzell.

The Russellville Public Library is opening gradually in phases, with Phase 1 beginning June 8.

“With the number of COVID-19 cases still rapidly increasing in Franklin County, we are reopening the library in an extremely cautious manner,” said Russellville Public Library director Ashley Cummins. “We wish to provide library service to the best of our ability, while preserving the health and safety of both the community and staff.”

The first phase will include no contact, with materials being picked up curbside by appointment.

All items will be returned to the recycling bin in front of the library. All returned material will be quarantined for 72 hours before being cleaned and returned to the shelves to be checked out.

Cummins said the Russellville library reopening will include four phases, with careful consideration of public health and safety of staff and community.

Ezzell said the Weatherford Public Library is open with restrictions and will be limiting contact as much as possible. She said she has a piece of glass separating her from customers to limit exposure.

Despite libraries opening back up with restrictions, both library directors have decided not to hold their summer reading programs this year.

“We hate that this is happening,” Ezzell said, “but we are doing what we can to keep everyone safe.