LIVERMORE FALLS — Stage 1 of Governor Mills’ plan for Restarting Maine’s Economy does nothing to change Treat Memorial Library’s current status. We are still a non-essential business. The library will remain closed to the public at least through May 31.
If Maine makes it safely to Stage 2 on June 1st, we hope to offer curbside service. Understand that curbside for a library is different than for other businesses. When you drive up to a store, collect your purchase, and leave, it is a one-way transaction. With a library, there will additionally be the return of items – a two-way transaction – and this greatly increases the risk of COVID-19 being transmitted. There is no fast way to sanitize a book. Library items have to be quarantined for at least 72 hours, which means we have to have a space to accommodate these items before they can even be re-shelved. Before June 1 we will be asking for the return of items that were checked out prior to our shut down. Hopefully, this will not overwhelm us, but give us time for quarantining these same items.
The Maine State Library is working with the Governor and the CDC to draft a COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for libraries. If we are able to comply with the finished checklist by Stage 3 (July 1), we may be able to do a “soft” opening – limiting the number of people in the library, requiring PPE (personal protection equipment) such as cloth face coverings, enforcing social distancing, and sanitizing as much as we can. We will post specific protocols as (and if) we get closer to this goal. However, if we are still experiencing shortages in sanitizing and disinfecting supplies by July 1, we will be unable to maintain the library as a safe location for our patrons and not open.
Also, if our Town Manager says “no” to any of this or tells us the library must close (even to staff), we have to comply. These are a lot of very important ifs. We miss everyone and know you want the library to open again soon, but please remember, the bottom line is everyone’s safety.

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