Ottumwa Library Reveals Next Reopening Phase

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Ottumwa Library Director Sonja Ferrell says Phase One of reopening the library was having staff return to the building. With that in place, Ferrell announced the next step towards opening the library to patrons once again.

Ferrell says guests can now pick up materials via drive thru service.

“you can choose your books or movies online through your library card account or you can call us,” Ferrell says. “We’ll Call you back and schedule an appointment and you come down and pick them up and we just put them in your car with no direct contact between us.”

Ferrell says when Governor Kim Reynolds started opening various businesses back up, the positive COVID-19 cases in Wapello County were increasing. That has caused periods of confusion since Ferrell says the library relies on local health officials to determine when it is safe to welcome patrons back to the library.

Staff working at the library has been currently limited to six, according to Farrell, so the facility can adhere to social distancing guidelines. She says the next phase of reopening will be opening the doors and allowing guests to return to the library but admits that there are a lot of unknowns.

“We haven’t worked out the details if we’re going to do it by appointment yet or if we will have no more than 10 patrons can be in the building at once.”

As for the timetable of when the library will open their doors once again, Ferrell thinks the library will require 14 consecutive days of “declining numbers” in Wapello County before reopening. Ferrell shares there are a plethora of scenarios to consider but says serving the public in the safest manner is the library’s top priority.

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