GREAT FALLS - The Great Falls Public Library has received notification of a confirmed COVID-19 case at the facility, and will be closed to the public until Tuesday, October 20. The library will continue to work with the Cascade 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.
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 have 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 has been seeing an average of about 300 in-person visits per day since the re-opening. While this is down significantly from pre-pandemic visits, library staff agrees that the safety of library visitors and staff must take precedence over physical library access.
Library director Susie McIntyre said in a news release, "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 visitor can continue to call or email the library to have reference questions answered, or to place holds or resolve issues with their library accounts. They can also place holds, renew items, or monitor their accounts from the library website. To arrange for curbside service, they 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-established 72-hour quarantine period.
Audiobook and E-book checkout is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 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.
For more information, click here to visit the library website, or call 406.453.0349.