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The original item was published from 3/16/2020 8:39:56 AM to 4/17/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: March 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Lewis & Clark Library Announces Closure

In order to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Lewis & Clark Library will close all of its branches on Tuesday, March 17.“The Library is on the front lines and needs to do the socially responsible thing and minimize risk to the community we serve. We are taking steps to help stop the spread of this virus,” explains Director John Finn.

The Main Helena Library will be open on Sunday, March 15 1:00-5:00, but the Children’s area will be closed and the public computers will not be available. The Main Helena Library will be open on Monday March 16 10:00-7:00 but with the same Children’s area and computer restrictions. Then on Tuesday, March 17, all Library locations will close to the public until at least April 13.  

Finn states that through the national and global events of the past week, it has been incredibly heartening to witness the strong support of our communities here in Helena, Lincoln, Augusta, and East Helena, as well as all of our bookmobile stops, and we are proud of how positive and hardworking library staff have been through it all.

“The decision to close the Library buildings in Lewis & Clark County has been a difficult one that we didn’t make lightly. After several days of tough conversations and planning by library leaders, administration, and trustees, we felt closing was in the best interest of our staff and the public. The library needs to do its part in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Lewis & Clark Library wants to ensure that even if you cannot physically visit your library, you will have as much access as possible to our services during and after COVID-19. Here is how our libraries will continue to serve you:

Borrowing & account extensions
• Remember that nothing that you have checked out will accrue fines.
• Library card accounts that were due to expire will be extended through April 30.
• Any requested items held at a closed library will remain on hold for you until the library re-opens.
• We will experiment with a curbside pickup, at least at the Main Helena Library.
• You can get digital materials — including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, Streaming Videos — through our website and corresponding apps for their personal devices. Look for the Libby, OverDrive, and Hoopla apps on your device app store; all of them are free.
• Access educational and informative databases on our website.
• Get questions answered by staff via phone Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.
• Please keep your library materials at home. There is no need to return items until May 1.

Know that library staff will continue to work hard behind the scenes on cleaning, organizing, and tackling special projects so that each location will be ready to greet their communities when buildings reopen.

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