Hello again, library friends.
The Newton County Library continues to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019) crisis. The library facility will remain closed to the public until we receive guidance recommending that we reopen. NCL's closure is an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding public interaction through social distancing.
All programs and events scheduled for March and April are cancelled and will be rescheduled if possible.
Books and videos currently checked out are not due and do not have to be returned until at least one week after we reopen. No late fees will be charged during this time.
Staff is checking our dropbox on a rotating schedule, but we do request that you keep items until we reopen. This limits our staff's exposure to items that have been in contact with multiple individuals. If a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order is issued by our local, state, or national government or if the threat to our staff's health is determined to be too great, we will be unable to check the dropbox and will notify our community by whatever means available to us.
Although NCL's facility is closed to the public, our staff continues to work to offer and maintain needed services to our community. We have high-speed wireless internet access (wi-fi) available anywhere in our parking lot. We have excellent download and upload speeds (about 100 mbps). You do not have to park near the doors or get out of your vehicle. Our wi-fi does not have a password, and you do not need a library card to use it.
Our digital library, Library2Go, is available anytime with a wide selection of ebooks, digital audiobooks, and streaming video. If you have an active library card, you have access to these resources now. If your card is inactive, you don't know your card number, or you don't know the phone number associated with your account, call us, send us an email, or message us, and we will get you active ASAP.
If you've never had a library card, we are offering online library eCard sign-ups on our website. It's a quick and easy form. We'll email you your eCard number and password information, and you're ready to go!
On days when staff may not be at the library, calls are transferred to my cell phone. I can update account information, activate your library cards, assign eCard numbers, help you navigate our digital resources, look up information for you, and more. If you do not get an answer, please leave a message. My voicemail is a little wonky (rural life!), so if you don't hear back from me soon, please call again. I'm working with my service provider to find a way to make my voicemail more reliable.
We have other efforts underway. We are working on temporarily removing the blocks on patron accounts for unpaid late fees or for lost or damaged materials. We can work that all out after the world has returned to normal. We want to provide access to as many people as possible during this crisis. We are also working on creating an Instagram presence in order to reach more of our community.
Continue to check back with us. We are expanding our website and will post updates and information there as well as on our Facebook page and on our future Instagram page. We will also send out email updates when we have more information to share.
We want to keep our staff and our community healthy, and we ask that you help us do that. Practice social distancing. Stay home if you can. Stay home if you are sick. Reach out responsibly to others who are vulnerable during this crisis, and help in whatever way that you are able, that is safe, and that is best for your unique circumstances. We miss you, and we look forward to seeing you and visiting with you after we overcome this crisis. If you provide essential services and can't stay home, we are humbled and grateful to you.
Please see the list of links to helpful resources at the bottom of this message.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
NCL wishes you and your loved ones peace of mind and good health.
Your library loves you!
Kenya Windel, Director
Resources for accurate information on COVID-19:
Arkansas Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Newton County Library resources:
NCL Facebook Page
NCL eCard Sign-up
NCL Catalog with Electronic Resources
NCL Digital Library (Library2Go)
Getting Started with OverDrive/Library2Go
Getting Started with Libby (Library2Go App)
Arkansas State Library resources:
Arkansas State Library Traveler Databases (includes COVID-19 resources)
Hello, library friends.
The Newton County Library is closed, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, through Saturday, March 28, 2020. After much consideration, the Newton County Library Board of Trustees decided to follow the same closure guidelines mandated by Governor Asa Hutchinson for Arkansas schools. In addition to closing Arkansas schools, Governor Hutchinson recommended avoiding public interaction to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and SARS-CoV-2. We are trying to do our part.
Staff is available during regular business hours to answer phones, respond to emails, and provide assistance to our community in whatever way we can during this unusual time, but the public is restricted from entering the building. NCL has extended the due date to April 6 for all currently checked-our materials. Items will not be charged late fees during this time. All programs and events scheduled for March are cancelled and will be rescheduled if possible. Wi-fi is available and accessible from NCL's parking lot, if you need Internet access.
Given the unsual circumstances, NCL's operational changes will be continually evaluated and adjusted as necessary. We will post updates to our Facebook page (@newtoncountylibraryark), as well as resource information and links, and other material that we feel is helpful, informative, educational, or interesting. Important updates will also be sent via our newsletter email list and posted to this website.
To whatever extent possible, we suggest that community members follow guidelines and recommendations as outlined by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These organizations provide accurate, up-to-date information. ADH and the CDC recommend the following steps to protect yourself and others: Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and others in your community. Stay home if you're sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wear a facemask if you are sick and have to be around others. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Closing the library was not an easy decision, but we feel it is the best right decision for our community, particularly to help protect the elderly and those with health conditions who are more vulnerable to this virus. We love and value you. Our greatest hope is that COVID-19 will have a minimal impact on our community, that things will quickly return to normal, and we'll be seeing, visiting, and serving you as we love to do.
Newton County is a strong community, and one of our greatest characteristics is that we come together and help each other in difficult times. This time, we must come together by putting distance between ourselves and others but helping each other as we must at the same time. We ask for your patience, understanding, and kindness, and we ask that you offer the same to your neighbors.
Your library loves you!