Great Falls Public Library closed due to positive COVID-19 case among staff

The Great Falls Public Library is closing effective immediately through Oct. 20.

The library was notified of a positive case among their staff.

According to a release from the library, they’ll wok with the Cascade County City-County Health Department to contact trace and notify anyone who may have been exposed and will conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the library during the closure.

Great Falls library to require masks in building

The library has been open to the public with reduced hours since May 19, and with input from the CCHD has been designated a Certified COVID-19 Prevention Partner. The reduced hours made it possible for staff to follow COVID safety protocols including multiple daily cleanings of high-use areas and 72 hour quarantine of all returned material.

The library was seeing an average of about 300 in-person visits per day since reopening in May, according to the library release, down significantly from pre-pandemic visits.

Library opening to public with limited hours next week

“We knew this day would come, and we have been preparing for it since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have required health checks for staff, mask-wearing in the library by all patrons and staff, and have instituted rigorous cleaning protocols. With a positive case here among staff, we must take further steps to ensure that we can once again safely serve our community. We will continue to provide all the services that we possibly can while protecting the health of everyone involved to the best of our ability,” Library Director Susie McIntyre said in a release.

Library patrons may continue to call at 453-0349 or email the library at questions@greatfallslibrary.org to have reference questions answered, or to place holds or resolve issues with their library accounts. Patrons may also place holds, renew items, or monitor their accounts from the library website.

To arrange for curbside service, a patron can either place a hold on their desired items online, or call to have a staff member assist them. The pickup time must be arranged over the phone. Library book drops will be emptied daily, and the check-in of materials will continue with the already-establish 72 hour quarantine period.

Library staff are reminding patrons that while there are no longer late fees on overdue items, it is still necessary to return items on time, as there may be other patrons waiting.

Audiobook and E-book checkout is available through MontanaLibrary2Go.org. Links to the service are on the library website, along with instructions for how to access the digital catalog. Library staff are available to assist patrons with audiobook and ebook check-out over the phone. The library offers free WiFi access outside the building from 5am to 11pm.