By JAMES BELL
Even as the Hays Public Library building remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has continued to provide digital resources and online programming.
And now it will offer another service to get resources into the hands of patrons — delivery and pickup.
As business and services reopen across Kansas, Callie Kolacny said the library is following guidelines set by the state and the local health department.
"We are following those first and foremost," she said, but after working through materials that were returned during the shutdown, they are now ready to begin offering items for checkout.
"It will be books, movies, music," Kolacny said. "Any of the items you are able to check out, they will start being available again."
The service will be offered as a delivery and pickup program, she said.
"A lot like the restaurants have been doing, with some pickup and delivery, but not necessarily opening their dining room. That's kind of how we will handle this time right now."
Materials can be requested through a Google form on the library's website, hayslibrary.org, or by phone at (785) 625-9014.
Once an order is placed, the patron can decide if they want to pick up the items or have it delivered to the door.
"We are going to start using that big, beautiful bookmobile to deliver items," Kolacny said. "We also have our van that will be used as well."
The deliveries will be made with "no contact," she said.
"If you have items that you want to send back to the library, you will be asked to put them in a bag, set them out on your porch or your driveway," Kolacny said. "Then whoever is delivering will deliver your items."
At the library, items will be offered in a similar manner, with times being set for pickup in the library breezeway.
For returns, items can be put into the drop boxes at the library.
"That's our plan to get items back out to the public, but also to make sure that we are being very safe with our staff and our patrons," Kolacny said.
Items coming in and out of the library will also be quarantined for 48 hours, to ensure they remain safe.
"We have done a lot of research on the studies on how long the virus can last on physical items," Kolacny said. "There will be a little bit of lag time because we want to make sure there is enough time for any of the virus to dissipate."
While the library will be offering the service, all in-person programming for the month of May remains canceled.
Recent programming includes gardening tips, yoga and children's stories.
"We miss everybody and we want everybody back in the library, but we want to wait until it is completely safe and we can find ways to still social distance. But for now, being able to get some books and movies back into the hands of the people that have been wanting them — our first goal is to make that happen for them," Kolacny said.