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Library Increasing Public Access Hours

During the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Hastings Memorial Library has made the health and safety of library staff and our patrons our top priority.  Effective Monday, October 19, the library will be open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10 AM to 1 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, and Saturday mornings from 9 AM- 12 PM.  We will be closed with no services available on Fridays.  Staff will be on site each weekday until 5:30 PM cleaning and sanitizing high traffic areas after the library closes to the public.

As we extend the hours we are open to the public, we ask that you help us stay safe and stay open by abiding by the following restrictions and guidelines:

  • Visits should be kept to 30 minutes per day.
  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or other adult (18 or over) at all times.
  • Social distancing of six feet or more is encouraged and recommended whenever possible.
  • Hand sanitizer is available upon entry and is required. Staff will wear masks while patrons are in the building.  Use of face masks by patrons is strongly encouraged.  Masks are available at the door. 

Two public computers are available for use by appointment.  There will be a 30 minute time limit, as well as a 30 minute wait between appointments to allow staff to properly sanitize each station between usage.  In order to maintain social distancing recommendations, staff will be unable to provide direct computer assistance at this time. 

Patrons are required to return all items via the outdoor book drop to the left of the front door.  Items are checked in twice weekly and quarantined for at least 72 hours before returning to circulation.  Any fines that accrue during the quarantine period will be automatically waived.

Our Curbside Checkout and Homebound Delivery services will continue.  Please call or email the library during the hours listed above to submit your requests. 

If you are running a fever or feeling at all ill, please stay home or take advantage of our Curbside Checkout service.   

Our online presence including our ebook, downloadable audiobook, and downloadable magazine collections remain available.  These can be accessed by visiting our website at http://libraries.ne.gov/grant

These guidelines and restrictions are fluid and, therefore, subject to change at any time.  The Library Board of Trustees will closely monitor the guidelines and recommendations set forth by Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, the City of Grant, and Perkins County Schools when considering any changes to the above policies and procedures.  Thank you for your patience, understanding, and continued support. 

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Information on Library Reopening to Public

The following was published as a Letter to the Editor in the July 15th edition of the Grant Tribune-Sentinel.

 

We know that the library’s closure to the public as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus has been an inconvenience to many in our community.  The Hastings Memorial Library Board of Trustees and staff members have put much thought and research into determining what level of service the library is able to provide, while still prioritizing the safety of our staff and library patrons.

Many factors must be considered to reopen our library to the public. As part of their REALM (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) project, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently conducted testing on frequently used library materials.  Their study concluded that the virus is undetectable on library materials after three days.  This means every item that is checked out OR HANDLED must be quarantined for three days before it is available to use again.

In addition, our library building is older, essentially one huge room, and not particularly well-ventilated.  These conditions are conducive to prolonged and widespread virus exposure if present.  The use of masks could greatly reduce the risk of airborne exposure, but cannot legally be required to be worn by all patrons.

Taking these, and other, factors into consideration, the Board of Trustees decided at their July 8, 2020 board meeting that the library will remain closed to the public until August 19.  This coincides with the planned start of the fall semester at Perkins County Schools.  When our planned reopening date arrives, please expect temporary limited hours as well as guidelines and restrictions on usage and services as we do our best to keep everyone safe.

In the meantime, the library continues to offer Curbside Checkout and Curbside Copy and Print services, our digital library of eBooks and audiobooks, and virtual programming.  Our Virtual Summer Reading Program is ongoing through the month of July and librarians are doing weekly storytimes and activities available on the library’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.  You can find these by searching for Hastings Memorial Library.  Information can also be found on our website http://libraries.ne.gov/grant .  Additionally, our public Wi-Fi connection is available 24/7 outside the building.  The password for this service is currently posted on the main entrance window.  Staff members are working in the building and are available via telephone at (308) 352-4894 and email at hml@gpcom.net Monday through Friday 10 AM to 5 PM to assist with your requests and answer any questions you may have.

One of the best parts of the library experience is wandering the stacks and selecting the perfect books to take home and read.  This is closely followed by the social interaction with librarians and other patrons.  Know that as much as you miss the library, the library staff misses you as well.  The Board of Trustees and staff appreciate your continued support and patience as we continue to navigate this unknown, unfamiliar territory.

Hastings Memorial Library Board of Trustees

Ashley Colglazier

Deb Marshall

Brenda Styskal

Jeff Wallin

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TumbleBooks Free Access

TumbleBooks has given libraries free access to its book databases through August 31, 2020.  TumbleBooks’ databases cover all ages, are easy to use, and feature unlimited access from home!

Patrons can read as many books as they want, when they want, and on any device. There are no check-outs, holds, or bulky downloads. Books are available instantly. 

To access this resource simply click on any of the links below: 

TumbleBook Library  – K-6 children’s ebook database

TumbleMath – K-6 math ebook database

Teen Book Cloud – Grades  7-12 ebook database

Audio Book Cloud – All ages audio book database

Romance Book Cloud – A huge collection of steamy romance novels for the older crowd!

COVID-19

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resource Page

Your librarians are still hard at work inside the library brainstorming new, innovative ways we can serve you during the course of our closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  First up is our new COVID-19 Resource Page.  The page contains COVID-19 Fast Facts, links to reliable facts and information about the disease and subsequent pandemic.

Additionally, there is a page called Fun Stuff to Do Online with links to activities, resources, and free digital books that can be accessed while kids and parents are working to find information they can access from home while school is closed.  We are also working on a Fun Stuff for Grownups page as well, which will have links to things grown-ups can explore to occupy their time during social distancing and quarantine as well.  

What else would you like to see happening with your library?  Let us know!  Stay safe and we’ll see you soon!

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Temporary Curbside Checkout Service now available.

In an attempt to continue serving our community during this period of social distancing and closures, the Hastings Memorial Library is instituting “Curbside Checkout” of materials. If you are interested in this service, please follow the following procedures:

  • Checking Out
    Requested items are for registered Hastings Memorial Library patrons with cards in good standing. We will not be issuing any new library cards at this time. Requests can be made the following ways:
    1) Via email (hml@gpcom.net) and voicemail at anytime. Library staff will respond as soon as possible, via the original method of communication (emails get emails, voicemails will receive phone calls).
    2) Call the library between 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday – Thurs to speak to a librarian and schedule your pick up time.
  • Check out Guidelines
    1) 5 items per person per family, including 2 “new” (red dot) titles.
    2) This limit does NOT apply to any existing holds you may have on books.
  • Returns
    1) Any materials not “long overdue” or “lost”, will automatically be renewed for the duration of this closure. Any overdue fine that may be incurred after March 1st will be waived. Therefore, patrons are encouraged to keep materials until further notice.
    2) If you choose to return anything, please drop it in the Book Drop. Staff will not handle your returned items at curbside.
  • Other Details
    When you make your materials request, please include the following:
     Specific title/author/magazine issue if you have it.
     Top 3 titles (per person)
     Top 3 authors (per person)
     Top 3 genres/topics (per person)
     The day and time you would prefer to pick up your materials. Library staff will do their best to accommodate that request.   
   
                       

    Because we are unable to guarantee the availability of specific requested materials, providing this information helps the librarians find appropriate items for you.

    In addition to this temporary service, our digital collections are always available via our website http://libraries.nebraska.gov/grant. Watch for upcoming tutorials on the use of these resources.

    If you are disabled or over 70 years of age, please contact the library for additional services that may be available to you.

    Please be advised that this service may change or end at any time, due to the unprecedented and uncertain circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The library staff appreciates the patience and understanding of the community as we navigate this unfamiliar territory

COVID-19

An Open Letter From the Library Director

Dear friends,

The global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has brought about unprecedented and uncertain circumstances for all of us. At Hastings Memorial Library, the health and safety of our patrons as well as our staff members is of utmost importance. In order to ensure this safety, Hastings Memorial Library will, effective immediately, be closed to the public until further notice.

1) Patrons are encouraged to keep items they already have at home until further notice. Any fines that accrue during this period will be automatically waived.

2) Patrons who feel it necessary to return their items are asked to use the drop box by the front door.

3) All holds on items will be frozen and will not expire until we reopen.

4) The Makerspace will also be closed to the public. We are in discussions with the Nebraska Library Commission to extend the studio’s tenure here to make up for the closure.

5) Our online presence including our ebook, downloadable audiobook, and downloadable magazine collections will remain available anytime. These can be accessed by visiting our website at http://libraries.ne.gov/grant .

6) Staff will attempt to provide as much assistance as possible during this closure. We are still working out all of the details on this. Please email us with any questions at hml@gpcom.net . A staff member will reply to your email as soon as possible.

7) We are exploring ways we can still provide services to you while closed. Please watch our Facebook page and website, as we will keep both updated as information is made available and situations change.

8) Follow the recommendations set forth by the CDC and state and local health authorities. Stay home if you feel sick. Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face. Did we mention wash your hands? If you can work from home, do so. Avoid crowds and groups of 10 people or more. Do your part to flatten the curve.

This is a difficult situation and this decision was not made lightly. After consulting federal and state guidelines for this pandemic and visiting with local authorities, we truly feel this is the best decision for our community at this time. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. We hope to be back serving the community in our normal capacity very soon.

Sincerely,

Robin

Robin Quinn
Library Director

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Fast Facts

With so much information out there about COVID-19, it can be hard to know what is true and what is not.  Did this Facebook post actually come from a doctor or from someone who just changed their first name to doctor? Luckily, we have gathered information from reliable sources so you can find facts and only the facts.  Click on any of the links below for more information.

 

Makerspace

Innovation Studio Class Schedule 3/9 through 3/14

Check out the Innovation Studio training schedule for the next two weeks.  Please call the library at (308) 352-4894 to reserve your spot in a class.  We only have 4 more weeks before our studio moves on!  Come in and get trained so you can make all the things!

 

Tuesday, March 10:

  • Vinyl Cutter
    • 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM 
  • 3D Printer
    • 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.    
  • Laser Cutter
    • 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.       

Wednesday, March 11th:

  • Heat Press
    • 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM.     

Monday, March 16:

  • 3D Printer                    10:30 AM to 12:00 PM    

Wednesday, March 18th:

  • Heat Press                  6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  

Thursday, March 19th:

  • CNC Router                2:00 PM to 3:30 PM.   

Saturday, March 21st:

  • Laser Cuttter              9:15 AM to 10:45 AM        
  • Vinyl Cutter                  11:00 AM to 12:00 AM    
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Overdrive Connection Issues

Did you have issues connecting to your Overdrive account this weekend?  Guess what?  So did everyone else!  There was a major power outage in Lincoln on Friday night and it knocked out all of the State of Nebraska government internet service. This included all Nebraska Library Commission hosted websites including this website AND Oveydrive.  

They are aware of the problems and are working to resolve everything.  Thank you for your continued patience and we hope everything is up and running normally by the end of today. 

Robin’s advice: Always have a paper book as backup.  You never know when the computers will betray us…. Ha!

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Innovation Studio Class Schedule Jan 18-25

Below is a list of training classes scheduled for the Innovation Studio (makerspace) over the next week.  Minimum age requirements apply.  Space is limited.  

Call the library at (308) 352-4894 or email hml@gpcom.net to reserve your spot.

Saturday, January 18th:

  • 3D Printer                   

      9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.     

      (3 spots available)

Tuesday, January 21st:

  • Sewing/Embroidery Machine

      1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

      (2 spots available)

  • Laser Cutter 

      3:00 PM to 4:30 PM.   

      (4 spots available)

Wednesday, January 22nd:

  • Vinyl Cutter               

      10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. 

      (4 spots available)

Saturday, January 25th:

  • Heat Press                 

      9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.  

      (4 spots available)