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Cumberland library uses downtime for an update

The Cumberland County Public Library used downtime during the pandemic to implement some exciting updates and changes, and is now back with new hours.

According to Library Director Lisa Davis, the library began offering curbside service only to visitors beginning March 16 before closing completely April 8. Even during closure, work at the library continued, the collection was inventoried and culled, and the children’s area received a makeover.

With additions to the library come new hours. The Cumberland County Public Library will now be open Monday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We hope this adjustment will give our patrons, especially those who work during the day, enough time to visit the library during the week,” Davis said.

The library’s board of trustees has approved the forgiveness of all existing patron fines through July 31. Additionally, any long overdue or lost items can be returned through Aug. 31, with all fees and/or fines forgiven as well.

Davis said she has already been able to forgive nearly $2,000 in fines to library patrons through the board’s action.

Due to the pandemic, library services are currently limited, as is the number of visitors allowed in the building at one time. Davis said patrons can come inside the building to print, copy, fax or use library computers for 30 minutes. The number of available computers to use has been reduced by half, but computer time may be increased to an hour if no one is waiting. Computer use time can also be increased for other situations such as online classwork or job applications and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, a wireless printer has been purchased to allow patrons to print from their own devices. Patrons can send the information they need straight to the printer’s own email address, and the charge is the same for regular printing and copying.

Library patrons cannot currently come inside the building to use their own devices or browse the shelves. However, the library’s wireless internet was made available 24/7 in April with no password required for use, and Wi-Fi can still be used on the premises.

When looking to check out materials, such as books, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines, individuals can request items through the library’s website, by phone or by email. Patrons are notified when items are ready for pickup, and can come inside to pick up materials or ask staff to deliver items curbside.

“Even after the pandemic comes under control, we will still be offering curbside service,” Davis said. “Some of our patrons have health issues that make coming inside difficult and others are hesitant to come in because of the flu or other illnesses. Curbside service will allow us to meet their needs, regardless of the reason.”

For more information on the library and its current services, individuals are encouraged to call the library at (804) 492-5807, check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/ccplva/ or visit their website at www.cumberlandcountypubliclibrary.org/.