Teton County Library

People wait for the Teton County Library to open in July of 2019.

A quarantine is the perfect time to catch up on reading for many reasons: Books can provide an escape to another reality, new knowledge and insights, and a way to pass the time while sitting at home.

But ever since the Teton County Library shut its doors at the end of March, books have been in short supply.

The library announced last week that it will begin a “phased reintroduction of library services” starting Saturday. The first phase will last until June 11 and will focus on gathering and sanitizing library resources.

The book drop will reopen so patrons can return the more than 9,500 items currently checked out.

“Staff will then have the chance to practice the new procedures of quarantining and cleaning items before we add in the new curbside pickup procedure,” Ari Goldstein, interim library director, wrote in a press release.

The second phase of reopening will introduce curbside pickup for library card holders. Area bookstores have adopted this practice since the start of the crisis, but, as Goldstein pointed out, “unlike restaurants and other businesses offering pickup, our items both leave the building and come back in as well.”

Materials to be picked up will be placed in a “curbside pickup area” near the gallery entrance on the north side of the library.

Cardholders starting June 11 will be able to reserve books by putting them on hold, but actual pickup will start June 13.

Books available for checkout will be limited to the library’s own catalogue; interlibrary loans are not available yet.

In drafting the phased plan, library staff consulted with the Wyoming State Library, the American Library Association, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan was also reviewed by the Teton County Health Department.

Details about the plan, including what will be allowed in subsequent phases, can be found at TCLib.org.

Contact Gabe Allen at 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

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