Coronavirus: Libraries suspend operations temporarily

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Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

Dayton Metro Library is temporarily suspending operations due to coronavirus starting at 6 p.m. Friday.

Anyone who wants to pick up or check out items should arrive at their local library branch by 5:45 p.m.

>> Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

All branches, homebound and outreach services are impacted.

“We take seriously our role to help stall the spread of the coronavirus for our patrons, staff and the community,” said Library Executive Director Tim Kambitsch in a news release. “This temporary suspension of services will help support our larger role of protecting the community’s safety during these unusual times.”

Claudine Bennett, the library’s director of external relations,  confirmed by phone that closing impacts all branches.

“It is indefinite,” she said. “It is a very fluid situation.”

The library is assessing staffing needs and encourages patrons to use the library’s website and online resources, she said.

The library will reopen and recall staff based on information from health and government officials, Bennett said.

>> EVENT CANCELLATIONS: What’s closed, canceled or postponed in area due to coronavirus concerns

The library is making more than 120 digital audio books available for unlimited borrowing at daytonmetrolibrary.org.

“Given that so many people are currently unable to go to school, work or visit their library in person, we want to make as much of our digital collection available as possible,” said Holly Varley, library collection development director.

The library’s digital collection also includes downloadable and streaming TV shows and movies through Hoopla, eBooks through OneDrive and digital magazines through RBdigital. All are accessible at the library’s webiste.

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People who do not have a library card and PIN can get an eCard online for immediate access to online services.

On Thursday, the library announced that it was automatically renewing any items due between March 14 and April 14.

OTHER LIBRARY CLOSINGS

• The Washington-Centerville Public Library will close all locations at the end of business March 13. Centerville and Woodbourne branches will be closed until at least April 5.

“This is a difficult decision that was made out a social responsibility to our staff, patrons and citizens. We know our libraries are an important part of our community and provide essential services to our residents. But we also know that, given the volume of people and materials that pass through our libraries daily, it would be extremely difficult to implement the mandatory health guidance and enforce social distancing,” said Liz Fultz, library director, in a news release.

The library has a wealth of digital services accessible from home, including free downloadable books, audios, magazines and streaming movies and music. Library users are encouraged to use book drops at either library, accessible 24 hours a day, to return borrowed materials. Fines will be forgiven for materials due during the closure.

• Troy-Miami County Public Library will close its branches for an undetermined amount of time at the end of business on March 13.

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