Finney County Public Library now open by appointment

Meghan Flynn
Although the Finney County Public Library is closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, its staff has adapted many programs and classes to be offerred strictly online. The library is now open by appointment and offers cubside pickup.

The public can once again enter the Finney County Public Library.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library fully closed to the public on March 30 and remained so until June 22, when the began doing curbside pickup and then July 1 when their doors opened for appointments only, said library executive director Pam Tuller.

It’s been great to have people back in the library Tuller said, both patrons and workers.

“Even the staff wasn’t in the library for all of April and all of May,” she said. “We came back on June 8 I believe.”

Tuller said the library reopened in July because the services it provides to the community was needed, namely access to information and the internet, but also other services such as faxing, printing and notaries.

“It’s those services and those reasons that we’re here for,” she said. “We’re here to serve the community and if we’re not open we can’t do that. With all the safety precautions in place we are able to do that and we’re very pleased to be able to do that.”

At the present only 15 people are permitted in the building at a time, which they have only reached twice in the past two months, Tuller said. Daily they are seeing about 80 people and still have curbside pickup available.

To gain an appointment at the library, all someone has to do is call and say they’d like to come by at a certain time, Tuller said. Everyone can have a one-hour appointment per day.

“To be able to limit the number of people in the building we are having the appointments start on the hour and end on the hour,” she said. “If you come in at 1:20 p.m., the appointment is still over at 2 p.m.”

Appointment times go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

For curbside pickup, there are two options, Tuller said. First, anyone can go online to the library’s catalog and sign in to their account with their library card and put a hold on a book, whether it’s in or already checked out, then library staff collects the books and calls the person asking when they can pick them up and when they come to get them.

When the person arrives, they should pull up to the back door, staff brings the books out, they show their library card or ID and they are given their books.

The second option for curbside pickup is calling and requesting books.

In-person programming at the library is still only virtual, Tuller said. It will most likely remain so for the rest of the year.

For the past month the library has been creating a weekly grab-and-go craft bag, Tuller said. In the first month, about 508 bags were given out.

“You can call us and pull up to the back door and we'll give you bags or you can just pop in the front door, not have to have an appointment and just grab them,” she said. “There is a different craft for all age groups every single week. Those are available starting Monday, but if you can't pick them up until Friday that's fine.”

The first time someone comes to get a bag they will get an essentials bag which will include a small pair of scissors, colored pencils, watercolor paint, crayons, eraser, pencil, note pad, a glue stick, etc., basic things that are needed for any sort of crafting.

Then, when they come for the following bags, they only get the pieces that go with that week’s craft.

For more information visit the Finney County Public Library website or their Facebook page or call 620-272-3680.