Due to a library employee testing positive for COVID-19, the Saline County Library board made the decision to close on Friday, July 10th through Tuesday, July 21st so that the buildings may be quarantined and employees can be tested and receive their results.
On July 22nd, both branches of the Saline County Library will reopen for curbside holds pick-up services Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Each location will resume limited self-service computer access and notary services via a separate entrance. Patrons must call to schedule notary appointments and to reserve a one-hour time slot to use the computers. They can reserve a time slot by calling 501-778-4766 for Benton and 501-847-2166 for Bryant. Printing, copying, and scanning will be available in Benton and printing will be available in Bryant.
Holds must be placed online or by calling 501-778-4766 for Benton and 501-847-2166 for Bryant. No orders can be placed in person at this time.
The Saline County Library board has voted to continue providing our current services until at least August 17th, when they will reassess the threat of COVID-19 and make decisions based on CDC and county recommendations.
To make up for patrons not being able to browse the shelves, the Saline County Library has created a new service called Pocket Librarian. Patrons can fill out a form online or by phone with their favorite genres, authors and least favorite authors that our librarians will use to recommend books they think the patron will like.
Those who receive Homebound Services will have their services resumed by mail after July 21st.
Returned materials are being quarantined for three days before being checked in and re-shelved. Because of this, the items may take longer to be changed on a patrons account, but you will not accrue fines during this time.
While the library is closed for browsing and in-person programming, virtual programming will continue as scheduled. You can view the calendar of events here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I have picked up items in curbside and/or had a computer reservation. Should I be worried?
We do not think any patrons should worry at this time. We took all the precautions we could to keep all materials and surfaces clean, and to eliminate patron contact. Our staff members wear gloves when handling materials and wear masks at all times in the building.
What location did the employee test positive work at?
At this time, this is all the information we have. Our staff go between buildings for deliveries and different projects, so we have decided to close both branches.
The library is closed but I have books on hold and ready to be picked up. What can I do?
All holds are being paused and can be picked up when the library reopens. We will send out a notification via email and on our social media channels for any updates. Due dates for materials already checked out have been extended to August 3rd. Online resources and our eLibrary are still available to our patrons.
My books are due. Will I be fined since the library is closed?
Due dates for materials already checked out have been extended to August 3rd.
Are all staff members self-quarantining for the next weeks and is the library going to stay closed for two weeks?
We took all the precautions we could to keep all materials and surfaces clean, and to eliminate staff and patron contact. Our staff members wore gloves when handling materials and wore masks at all times in the building. Employees who may have been in contact with the infected employee are in self-quarantine and will also be tested. We are also communicating with the Arkansas Department of Health on what we need to do and what steps can be taken to reopen safely.
When will the library reopen?
Right now we are planning to be closed until further notice. We are in communications with the Arkansas Department of Health on what we need to do and what steps can be taken to reopen safely. We will abide by any and all restrictions they recommend so we can provide the safest experience possible for our staff and patrons. Changes in opening dates will be sent out through emails to our patrons as well as on our social media channels. Online resources and our eLibrary are still available to our patrons.
Why has the library decided to stay closed until further notice instead of opening on Monday, July 13th?
After consulting with the cleaning service, we have decided to change our closing date until further notice so the cleaners have adequate time to properly clean the buildings. We are still in contact with the Arkansas Department of Health and will take the precautions they deem necessary to make sure the building is safe for our staff to return to work, even if that means staying closed for a little longer than anticipated. We are hoping to open back up with limits soon so we can provide resources to our patrons. We will keep updates on our website and social media channels as well as send out email blasts to our patrons.
Why is the library closing for just one positive case?
Our actions may seem a bit drastic at first glance but all businesses have been directed by the health department to close if they have an employee test positive so they can clean thoroughly. This is to keep the possible spread of the virus to minimum so no more employees are affected and patrons are not put in any danger. Employees who may have been in contact with the infected employee are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This is to see if they start to show symptoms of having the virus and to allow any possible virus cells to die off.
Even though measures seem a bit like too much sometimes, we are not wanting to take any chances to put our staff or patrons at risk.