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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director

You may wonder why we have been having work done on the library annex building during a time that we can’t use the annex with the rules about no mass gatherings and the like. Well, if you had looked back in our ‘books’, we started planning to improve the exterior in 2018 after saving some of the Public Library Fund money over a period of years. So it is more a “finally getting it done” approach and this spring and summer was the time. In 2019, the project started at the back of the building -we wanted to be sure our ideas worked. We were pretty sure we liked how we planned to change the façade (many drawings and discussions), and we knew to help improve the overall look we wanted it to have some connection to the library. So, thanks to Tim McCaughey and his team for making our pencil sketches a reality as well as Terry Kemmeter for all the painting as well as repairing along the long walls, we think the end result is pretty darn nice. We hope that it helps in the resurgence of Ripley.

We continue to be very careful concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. While our hours are back to ‘normal’, our routine is not. I want everyone to know that we continue to quarantine returned items for at least 3 days, then wipe them down with disinfectant before they get placed back on the shelf or held for a patron that is waiting for it. The number of people allowed in at any given time is still limited, the number of computers to use, due to spacing, is also limited.

The staff wear masks and wash their hands regularly, we disinfect the ‘high-touch’ surfaces often, and so on. I guess we’re getting used to it, and we certainly understand the importance, so bear with us if things seem to take longer to get or services seem a bit clumsy. We don’t want to have to follow Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s action last week of being open, and then having to close back down to curbside service only until further notice.

Cargo (shipment between libraries) was supposed to start up last week, and while we did have pick-up and delivery of a small portion of stuff that had been in limbo since March, it was only 2 days, rather than 5 days, so it is really slow in getting truly into gear. We have partnered with the Brown County Public Library to help the Brown County patron base and we are doing our own ‘cargo’ once a week to speed things up in requests, and I’m pleased to say there have been quite a few items transferred between us, but it will be better when all 240+ libraries of the consortium have the full borrowing/shipping program in place again.