News

The Garland County Library tentatively plans to reopen in a limited capacity to the public on June 1st.
Reopening plans are contingent on a number of stipulations, including directives from the Garland County Judge, procuring the required personal protective equipment, and following the Arkansas Department of Health’s directive for large indoor venues, under which the library falls.

Library Director Adam Webb has closely monitored the situation from the beginning and made adjustments to library procedures as necessary. “After talking with County Judge Darryl Mahoney and Dr. Nate Smith from the Arkansas Department of Health, the library will be entering Phase Two of its reopening plan on June 1st. That is contingent on a few things: 1) procuring PPE for all staff and 2) a continued ‘go ahead’ from the Arkansas Department of Health. If there is a spike in cases between now and then and the state delays or retreats, so will we. If our shipments of PPE do not arrive by June 1st, we won't open. We’re ready to see our patrons again, but we have to be safe and protect our patrons and staff by being in compliance with all aspects of the Arkansas Department of Health’s directives for large indoor venues,” said Webb.

The library will strictly follow the recommendations for large indoor venues regarding social distancing and sanitation, which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Face coverings will be required for all visitors at all times.
  • Only 50 people will be allowed in the building at a time.
  • Direct staff interactions will be distanced and restricted.
  • Limited internet services will be available.
  • No public meeting spaces will be available.
  • Use of self-checkout stations will be encouraged.
  • Staff will not assist with one-on-one tech help.
  • The Friends of the Garland County Library book sale room will not be open and the library will be unable to accept donations until further notice. Visitors who refuse to abide by the library’s reopening requirements will be asked to leave.

    “We’ve been working hard to provide the best services possible for our patrons at this time,” said Erin Baber, Public Relations/Marketing Coordinator. “Our patrons can’t come in and browse for items right now, but they can still borrow books, movies, audiobooks, cake pans, and fishing poles from the library through our curbside service. We launched curbside pickup in mid-February as a regular service and we will continue to encourage our patrons, especially those who are considered to be vulnerable, to use curbside pickup after we reopen.” The library has continued to increase online offerings during the closure as well. “We’re continually adding new ebooks and audiobooks to our collection on Overdrive and we increased the number of Hoopla borrows from 10 to 20. We started our annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) virtually on May 1st and created a dedicated SRP Facebook group so staff and patrons can connect virtually this summer.”

    Patrons can continue to use the library’s curbside pickup service to retrieve their available items on hold. Curbside is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily as of May 16th. Items can be placed on hold by logging in to the patron’s account with their library card number and PIN at www.catalog.gclibrary.com. Patrons may also call the library at 501-623-4161 and request up to five items directly from a staff member.

    Library administration and staff sincerely thank the residents of Garland County for their patience, support, and understanding during this time. The library is located at 1427 Malvern Avenue in Hot Springs. For more information about curbside pickup, online databases, and more, contact the library at 501-623-4161 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Questions can also be sent to gcl@gclibrary.com. Visit www.gclibrary.com for access to online catalog, accounts, and e-materials. Follow the library on Facebook for updates to services and important announcements. Library operating hours and available services are subject to change without notice at this time.