Hello, library friends.
Since March 16, NCL has been operating in what became Phase One of the guidelines developed by the federal government and encouraged by state officials. We undertook these measures to keep our staff and community safe from potential COVID-19 exposure and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Our priority remains the continued safety of our staff and community. Following guidance from NCL's Board of Trustees, the Arkansas Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local, state, and federal officials, NCL plans to move into Phase Two of reopening. Beginning May 18, NCL will offer curbside pickup of books and videos and access to limited technology services. The book drop will also reopen for returns. The library facility will remain closed to public entry. All in-person meetings, events, and programs are cancelled until further notice
Beginning May 13, you can make requests for materials and services. To arrange for pickup of materials or drop off of documents to be copied, faxed, or scanned, contact the library by phone, email, FB or IG Messenger, or Gabbie text (more on that below). You can also reserve items through your online library account. We will prepare the materials and contact you to schedule a time to pick them up. For documents that are dropped off, there may be a quarantine period before they can be processed and picked up. We will provide any other necessary information when requests are made.
NCL does not have a specific date scheduled to move into Phase Three, opening the facility to public entry with safety guidelines in place. We will continue to prepare the facility, monitor the situation, and follow appropriate guidance and recommended practices. We will notify you as soon as a date is set.
We also have a few updates to share regarding new services and operations and opportunities to help us serve our community.
NCL now has a 2-way texting service called Gabbie available to users with mobile phones or devices with texting capability. From your mobile phone or device, you can message the library at 870-662-6208. You can contact NCL for assistance or with questions, or you can send automated command texts to renew items or see how many items you have out and when they are due back. Command texts can be used 24/7. Library staff will be available to respond only during regular library hours. Your mobile number must be on your library account for this service to work. If you need to add your mobile number or if you are not sure it is on your account, contact us for assistance. This is a free library service, but message and data rates may apply based on your mobile plan. Look for Text a Librarian with Gabbie buttons to start showing up in our emails and on our website and social media.
NCL can now accept credit/debit payments on library accounts owing $5.00 or more. Payments must be made online. Patrons log into their library account from the library catalog page. Click on My Account. Under Account Info, if the amount is $5.00 or more, you will see a button to pay the amount owed with a credit card online. Merchant's fees of 2.9% and a $0.30 flat fee will be added. For example, if you owe $5.00, you will be charged $5.45. Of that amount, $5.00 will go to the library, and $0.45 will go to the merchant for providing the service.
NCL is now using a receipt printer instead of due date stickers. We will no longer be putting due date stickers on materials that are checked out. We will print a receipt that lists the items you have out and when they are due back. The receipt also lists how much money you have saved this year by checking out materials at the library instead of purchasing them.
NCL has added a Donate Now button to our website. Your donation will be used to help NCL make modifications and purchase supplies in line with COVID-19 guidelines and to provide materials, programs, and services to educate, enlighten, entertain, and assist the people of Newton County. If you are interested in donating, visit our website. Scroll down and look for the Donate button.
Even with restrictions lifting, it is critical that staff and patrons practice preventive actions. The CDC recommends staying home when you are sick (cough or fever); maintaining a minimum 6-foot distance from others in public or wearing a mask when that isn't possible; sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow; avoiding unnecessary physical contact; washing or sanitizing hands frequently; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
We are excited to see you soon, serve you safely, and offer you new services and ways to interact with NCL.
Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments or if I can be of further assistance.
Your library loves you!
Kenya Windel, Director
Resources for information on COVID-19:
Arkansas Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The White House's Opening Up America Again Guidelines
Newton County Library resources:
NCL Facebook Page
NCL Instagram 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)