CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C (WCBD) – As part of their phased re-opening plan, the Charleston County Public Library opened the Main Library, Baxter-Patrick James Island Library, Wando Mount Pleasant Library and Dorchester Road Regional Library on Monday.
The main rules for all locations being to wear a mask while entering the building and while staying inside of it. That rule is place for all older than two-years-old. Angela Craig, the Executive Director of the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), said ahead of the re-opening, they worked closely with DHEC to develop all of their guidelines.
We are making sure that we are clear in what you can touch and how we are quarantining items after patrons you know pull materials off of the shelves. People are welcome to come in and browse and take books off the shelves and you don’t want that or don’t want that DVD they just put them aside and staff will wheel it in to our community rooms for our 3 to 4 day quarantine so that they’ll be ready to go back on the shelves at a later time.Angela Craig, CCPL Executive Director
In an effort to better social distancing, the libraries will be limiting capacity and ask the public to consider limiting their time in the buildings to 30 minutes to an hour. The reason for the lessened time is to allow more individuals the opportunity to utilize and explore the library’s resources.
As for why only four libraries are being open at this time?
We were trying to approach it from a regional stand point so that uhm everyone in Charleston County would be able to have as equitable access as we can. We stayed with 4 because we wanted to keep the number manageable because this is also sort of a pilot for us. To make sure we are being clear with the community and how we have to operate currently.Angela Craig, CCPL Executive Director
The ultimate hope, according to Craig, is for all locations in Charleston County to be reopened by September 8th in accordance with CCSD’s schedule. If they are unable to open certain locations they will have a plan in place for pick ups and drop off usage.
The library telling News 2 that in working with the county’s school district, they tried to decide where their capabilities end and where the library’s begin. One of those capabilities being with digital equipment, knowing this, the library adding that they were given a grant that would assist with supplying students and households with WiFi capabilities so their education could further on.
So we’re looking at where can we help serve those patrons that might not have equitable digital access. WiFis and devices are really important right now particularly with working from home studying from home or just having access. So I was able to write a grant with the state library to get i think it was a hundred WiFi devices and we are looking at some google computers too—chrome books—too. But there’s other grants that we are also looking at. We’re trying to land on what number it is device-wise so that we can make an impact with the Digital Equity Program here in Charleston county.Angela Craig, CCPL Executive Director
The additional WiFi hotspots are not currently in circulation, but when they are they will be lent out with a 3 week limit. If the county’s library system believes more time should be given to check out the equipment—they will amend it as time goes on.
For information on hours of operations and what services will be limited inside the library, click here.