JCPL responds to COVID19

Outdoor areas of the library are open. New services coming soon.

JCPL is committed to the safety and well-being of our community and staff. As we are all coping with a rapidly evolving, complex situation, we are working hard to stay in communication with you about what we’re doing and what is going on in our community. We are grateful for your patience and know how much you miss library services.

Service status

The grounds of the library are open to visitors. Over the next few weeks, be prepared to see more activity outside the library as we work to provide grab-and-go services. The best current research suggests that public indoor areas are some of the highest-risk spaces for the transmission of COVID-19, while outdoor spaces with social distancing are the lowest risk. We will be working in these parameters to help get more library services to you in a safe way. While you are visiting the library grounds, please maintain at least 6 ft of distance from others, and help care for the garden and grounds by throwing away trash and keeping the area neat.

While it is not safe for us to gather in person, we have great summer reading events planned. The theme this year is “Imagine Your Story,” and we will have online events, apps, games and gatherings. Keep an eye out for more information and more ways to access technology as we debut our grab-and-go services in June.

We are happy to be able to provide you access to print books via Books-by-Mail. Give us a call at 850-342-0205 and let us know which items you would like. We will mail the items to you at no charge, with a free return label. When you are ready to return the books, you can place them in your mailbox.

If you need to send a fax, you can send one from your phone or computer through http://faxzero.com.

The online library is also open 24 hours a day. We have a great collection of ebooks, downloadable audiobooks and streaming video for you to enjoy at http://ebooks.wildernesscoast.org. If you are visiting from your mobile phone, download the Libby app and search for the Wilderness Coast Public Libraries. A free online meeting room for webinars is also available, and library staff would be happy to help you set up your webinar or online meeting.

When will the library reopen?

The Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners makes the final decision on when county offices can safely reopen to the public. They work with the advice of professionals, including the Department of Health, emergency officials and library staff. Here are some of the factors that may affect the library’s opening date, hours and services:

  • The guidance of the Governor’s “Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step,” reopening plan.
  • Evidence of little or no community transmission in our area.
  • The development of plans and procedures to protect patrons in a high-density, high-touch indoor public space.
  • The availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)–such as masks and gloves–and approved disinfectants/wipes for non-medical and non-emergency workers.
  • More information about children’s safety in indoor public spaces.
  • The results of the IMLS/Battelle study, which focuses on how long SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) lives on library materials.
  • The completion of repairs and renovations related to COVID-19.
  • Building inspections and clearance for public occupancy.
  • Guidance from the Health Department, Police Department and other officials on safe reopening, maintenance and cleaning procedures.

Please be patient while we learn more about COVID-19. More research is on the way. We are doing everything we can to make sure that when the library opens, it is safe for you and your family to visit. Until then please enjoy our grounds, online services and correspondence services, and watch this space for updates!

If you have any questions you can contact the library at 850-342-0205.

Stay in; reach out

This is a hard and frightening time for a lot of people, especially our elders and other vulnerable people who are being asked to stay in. People who work in retail and food service; authors and performers; and gig workers may be facing a sudden loss in income. If you are at less risk, consider running errands, checking on seniors, teaching people how to use video calling and conferencing, and calling elders frequently so they know they are not alone.

It is normal to feel stressed and uncertain during a disaster. If you’d like to talk to someone, you can call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can use your relay service to call 1-800-985-5990. If you are in a good place, consider volunteering for a mental health hotline.

The Florida Department of Health has set up a 24 hour COVID19 hotline: 1-866-779-6121 .

You can report price gouging to the state Attorney General at: 1-866-966-7226. Actions like reselling cleaning items at a profit are illegal.

Do not let people take advantage of your vulnerability during disasters. There are laws protecting you from eviction, scams, abuse, price gouging, and mistreatment. You still have legal and constitutional rights. If you are a senior, you can call the Senior Legal Helpline 1-888-895-7873 for legal guidance. No matter your age, you can go to https://floridalawhelp.org/ to get legal guidance.

If you are a Jefferson County resident and need a connection to other kinds of assistance, please reach out to the library 850-342-0205. We can help connect you to the local government and other high quality resources. We can also provide you with reliable scientific information about COVID19 as well as the latest emergency guidance.

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