Shelby County libraries in different phases of reopening
By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer
Some libraries in Shelby County are now open, while others are in the process of doing phased re-openings which will take place over the course of several weeks.
Chelsea Public Library has reopened as of Monday, May 11 with certain guidelines in place, such as no more than 40 people are allowed in the building at any given time.
Director Dana Polk said the library was able to open with the approval of Mayor Tony Picklesimer. She said Chelsea Library has seen traffic from other areas where libraries have yet to reopen.
“We’re basically encouraging people to come in, make their selections, and go ahead and check out,” Polk said. “People are glad we are open. We had several families here Monday morning at 9:05.”
Other precautionary measures include:
- Signs inquiring about COVID-19 symptoms on the front doors
- Sneeze guards at the checkout desk
- Hand sanitizer available for use
- Sanitization of computer equipment between users
- Only four computers available to allow for social distancing
- No in-house programming for the month of May
- No children’s puzzles or toys out for sharing
- Meeting room is not available
- Curbside service still available for those who prefer it
Also, Chelsea Public Library is opening registration for its Summer Reading Program on May 18, but the first three weeks will be virtual only.
For more information, call 205-847-5750, visit the library’s Facebook page or website at Cityofchelsea.com/225/Library-Home.
Meanwhile, Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster has begun a phased reopening starting with curbside pickup. They are also taking calls and are available at 205-664-6822.
Phase 2 of the reopening will involve making the computer lab accessible to the public once again, while in Phase 3 the building will open with social distancing guidelines in place.
Roy Downs Memorial Library in Calera will begin offering contactless pickup next week. This will take place in the lobby, where orders will be bagged and placed on tables. Those who take part must place their requests 24 hours in advance. Patrons are still not allowed in the main building.
For more information, call 205-668-7200 or visit the Facebook page.
Harrison Regional Library in Columbiana, which oversees Shelby County area libraries, has announced expansions to its electronic library.
“We just added hundreds of new juvenile, young adult, and adult titles in a variety of electronic formats thanks to a generous donation from the Thelma V. Mueller Estate,” the library said in a press release. “You can enjoy bestsellers and classic audiobooks, e-books and magazines on your smart phone or tablet via the Overdrive or Libby app. Or, download needed software to your PC or MAC and transfer them to an e-reader, iPod or MP3 player.”
The easy-to-use service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Shelbycounty-al.org/162/Downloadables. It is powered by Overdrive and made available through a statewide online consortium of libraries called Camellia Net.
Columbiana Public Library has allowed limited access and is available at 205-669-5812, while Harrison Regional can be reached at 205-669-3910.
The Harpersville Library is open and is encouraging residents to fill out Census forms. They are also offering assistance filling out the forms.
There is currently limited computer use, but this is due to upgrades and not the COVID-19 pandemic.
To reach the library, call 205-644-6331.
Jane B. Holmes Public Library in Helena is open to the public, but there is no public access to computers or printers.
“We have books, movies and other material for check out, and copy and fax service available,” stated a post on the library’s Facebook page.
Curbside service is offered for items reserved in advance, with the exception of movies. When picking up, call 205-664-8308. The outside book drop is also open for returns.
Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo is working on a reopening plan with a phased approach to which services are offered. Once safety protocols are in place, curbside service will begin on Tuesday, May 26.
Parnell Memorial’s phone number is 205-665-2555, and updates are being posted on Facebook.
North Shelby / Mt Laurel
North Shelby and Mt Laurel libraries are working toward offering curbside pickup starting Monday, June 1. This service will be scheduled Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (North Shelby) or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Mt Laurel), and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
Meanwhile, both libraries are offering digital content. Also, the book drops will open May 26. For more information, call North Shelby Library at 205-439-5500, Mt Laurel Library at 205-991-1660 or visit the Facebook pages.
Pelham Public Library has resources available at Pelhamlibrary.com; just visit the website and click on the “Resources” link on the menu bar.
Electronic content may be accessed via Hoopla.com (you will need a library card) or at Camellia.overdrive.com/ or via the Libby app.
“We are working on a plan to bring back some services as soon as possible,” stated a Facebook post. “Keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram and website for updates.”
To obtain a temporary library account, email firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address, phone number, date of birth and driver’s license number.
The library may be reached via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westover, Wilsonville and Vincent
Wilsonville Library is open but at a limited capacity; only five people are allowed in the building at one time. Also, computer access is limited to 30 minutes per session. Books are being thoroughly cleaned and quarantined between each checkout. The library is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 205-669-6180.
The library at Westover is also open at a limited capacity and is available at 205-678-3375, Ext. 3.
For information about Vincent Library, call 205-672-2749.