Summer is underway at Highland County’s libraries, which opened on May 26, though branch managers said they’ve altered some programs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This includes the Greenfield Branch Library, the Hillsboro Public Library, the Leesburg Branch Library, the Lynchburg Branch Library, and the Rocky Fork Branch Library, collectively known as the Highland County District Library.
Though the libraries have resumed normal business hours, each library continues to offer curbside service, which minimizes contact as a librarian brings requested items to the sidewalk.
To request items through curbside service, call the library of your choice or visit www.highlandco.org.
According to the branch managers, inter-library loans will resume later this month, and patrons will be able to once again request books from other libraries.
Each library is holding a summer reading program, each of which will continue until July 31, and offers crafts for community members to take home.
Though some of the Hillsboro Public Library’s clubs have resumed, other libraries’ clubs may not be able to, Highland County District Library Circulation Manager Sarah Davidson told The Times-Gazette.
“Here at Hillsboro, we’re starting to do some limited clubs again. It kind of varies branch to branch. It kind of depends a lot, too, on how much space a branch has,” Davidson said. “Typically we would meet in our meeting rooms, but because that’s where we’re quarantining items, we can’t meet there.”
Each library quarantines incoming items for at least 72 hours before returning them to circulation.
Library management recommends that patrons wear masks while visiting the libraries, but patrons are not required to wear masks. However, library staff will continue to wear masks.
The libraries’ computers and fax machines are available for patrons to use, though some machines have been removed in order to allow for social distancing.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on upcoming events, visit www.highlandco.org or like or follow the “Highland County District Library of Ohio” Facebook page.
Greenfield Branch Library
Greenfield Branch Manager Spencer McNeil told The Times-Gazette that the library is waiting to see where the county’s COVID-19 statistics fall near end of July before considering resuming clubs and programming.
“I think a lot of our staff is concerned about resuming groups or programs, so we’re still keeping everything on hold,” McNeil said.
For the Greenfield Branch Library’s summer reading program, prizes will include Kings Island tickets and gift cards to local businesses.
The library is also holding a coloring contest through Wednesday, July 29 as well as a contest for patrons to guess how many candies are in a jar.
“It’s good candy too,” McNeil said. “It’s not like jelly beans or anything — it’s Laffy Taffy and Trolli — and whoever guesses closest to the amount gets the whole jar.”
The library’s knitting group and American Sign Language program will resume in the future.
McNeil encouraged patrons to suggest programs, clubs and materials they’d like to see in the library. Patrons can make suggestions by stopping by the library, calling, messaging via Facebook, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greenfield Branch Library is located at 1125 Jefferson St. Reach the library at 937-981-3772.
The Greenfield Branch Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hillsboro Public Library
Though the Hillsboro Public Library does not currently have any programs planned, the Bring Your Own Book Club, the Comic Book Club, and the Write Away Club will resume meeting, Davidson said.
“Because of the whole space thing and to help with social distancing, we will be meeting outside — bring your own chair. We will be limited to 10 people during a meeting just because of the social distancing guidelines,” Davidson said. “If someone’s interested, they can call the library and sign up for a spot in the club. There are still plenty of spots left. We will require masks and health assessments during the clubs, and everyone will be six feet apart.”
For the Hillsboro Public Library’s summer reading programs, children, teens and adults receive one entry into a drawing for each book they read, Davidson said. Winners are drawn each Monday and get to select their prizes, some of which include a Young’s Dairy Fun Pass.
The Hillsboro Public Library is located at 10 Willettsville Pike. Reach the library at 937-393-3114.
The Hillsboro Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Leesburg Branch Library
Leesburg Branch Manager Melinda McGee told The Times-Gazette that summer programming may be cut this year, but she and other Leesburg librarians are planning to go all out next summer.
The Leesburg Branch Library’s summer reading program challenges children to read 50 books. Those who do so will receive a prize, McGee said; those who participate in the program but don’t finish 50 books will receive a participation award.
Children, teens and adults also have the opportunity to answer trivia questions. Those who answer correctly will receive prizes.
McGee said the Leesburg library is waiting to resume its storytime and clubs as its meeting room is currently unavailable due to the need to quarantine incoming library items.
The Leesburg Branch Library is located at 240 E. Main St. Reach the library at 937-780-7295.
The Leesburg Branch Library is open Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lynchburg Branch Library
Lynchburg Branch Manager Elaine Williams told The Times-Gazette that the library’s summer programs may have been cut back, but she and other staff members are dedicated to continuing to provide the community with activities and access to resources.
For the Lynchburg Branch Library’s summer reading program, which is “catch the reading bug” themed, children receive a coloring page in the shape of a honeycomb. For every 15 minutes they read, they fill in one space. Once the page is completely colored in, they return the page to the library and receive a prize.
The Page Turners Club will resume meeting at a later date due to space constraints, and Williams said she hopes to resume the library’s improv club for high school students and crocheting club in the fall.
The Lynchburg Branch Library is located at 102 S. Main St. Reach the library at 937-364-2511.
The Lynchburg Branch Library is open Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rocky Fork Branch Library
A Rocky Fork Branch Library staff member — who wished to remain nameless as she said, “All of us are doing this. I believe in ‘we’ before ‘I’” — told The Times-Gazette that the library is hosting events so it can engage with the community.
At press time, the “Highland County District Library of Ohio” Facebook page listed nine events and activities — including stop motion activities, which will begin at 11 a.m. on July 11 and July 25, and an event with the Highland County Humane Society, which will begin at 11 a.m. on July 16 — that will be held at the Rocky Fork Branch Library during the month of July.
Patrons interested in participating in an event should contact the library to sign up as spots are limited. As of Thursday afternoon, the Rocky Fork Branch Library staff member said there were still openings for each event.
In the near future, the representative said the library will offer clubs for patrons of all ages, from infants to adults, including a coffee and coloring club for adults and a chapter club for tweens.
The Rocky Fork Branch Library is located at 11125 N. Shore Dr. Reach the library at 937-661-6866.
The Rocky Fork Branch Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.