MASON COUNTY — Mason County children will have a second option for free meals when the library system opens Tuesday, after having been closed due to COVID-19.
Library Director Pam Thompson said from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each weekday, a sack lunch will be available at all three libraries – Point Pleasant, Mason, and New Haven. The meals will be a “grab-and-go,” and will be placed on tables in the foyer of the main library and in New Haven, and outside in Mason.
Thompson said she isn’t sure what will be included in the lunches yet, but they will come from the Huntington Food Bank. There will be two choices each day, however.
Meals will continue until June, when the summer meal program begins. Thompson emphasized the daily library meals are in addition to the weekly food distribution by the Mason County School System. Children can participate in both.
On Monday, the library will begin a “soft opening,” offering books on a call-in basis, as well as fax and notary services. Patrons can call their nearest library, request a particular book, and it will be placed in a bag outside the library door. Thompson said “new arrival” books will be displayed in the windows.
Although the library doors will remain locked, patrons can also request that papers be faxed or notarized. The librarians will be wearing masks and gloves, and take the papers through the doorway.
Thompson said the libraries are planned to reopen publicly on June 1, with the required rules and protocols. In the meantime, the county will be installing plexiglass partitions at the circulation desks. She added meeting rooms will not be available, and computer use “could be a while.” Wi-fi is available outside of each library.
The summer reading program will also look different this year due to the Coronavirus, according to Thompson. Activities, such as scavenger hunts, will be posted in the windows. Crafts will be sent home in bags.
Patrons can call the libraries Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to request books. Telephone numbers include Point Pleasant, 304-675-0894; Mason, 304-773-5580; and New Haven, 304-882-3252.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.