GREAT FALLS — Beginning Tuesday, July 7th, the Great Falls Public Library will require visitors to wear masks. Masks will be provided by the library at no cost to anyone who needs one.
Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the requirement. Library policy is that children are to be accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 12 who can maintain social distancing measures.
"This is not undertaken lightly, we understand that some people are not comfortable with mask-wearing. We want to be able to stay open and serve our patrons, but with the rise in Covid-19 cases across the state, we cannot continue to do that safely without requiring masks," says library director Susie McIntyre in a news release. "Thousands of people rely on the services we provide. We are doing everything we can to be good stewards of the trust and funding we receive from our community. The health and safety of our staff and patrons is paramount. Masks are our best defense."
All library staff have been required to wear masks since the reopening, and rigorous cleaning protocols are in place. Sanitizing of common areas is completed numerous times per day, and library materials are quarantined for 72 hours after use. Hand sanitizer is available in all areas of the library. These steps help to keep the library a Cascade City-County Health Department Certified Prevention Partner, but require a redistribution of staff time, resulting in reduced hours of operation.
The library also offers internet and computer access, notary, printing, and reference services.
The library is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 1pm to 6pm, with special vulnerable population hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am.
Curbside pick-up of items is available every Monday. People can place a hold over the phone or online through the library's website, and arrange a time to drive through and pick up their items. Returns can be placed in the library's outdoor drop boxes. Patrons who are uncomfortable or unable to wear masks are encouraged to utilize the many services the library offers remotely, as well as curbside pick-up.
Great Falls Public Library encourages people to call or email with any questions, and to follow them on social media for updates.
Phone: 406-453-0349 (Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm)