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Briggs libraries to be closed until April: Fines suspended through June 1

The Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library will be closing all its branches at 5:30 p.m. today. The closure will be for two weeks and will re-open on Monday, April 6.

Executive director Joe Jenkins said the idea was to prevent community spread of the coronavirus.

“We hate to do it, but everything else was closing and we were getting more and more people coming in to the building and that is normally a great thing,” he said. “From our perspective, we are unfortunately going to have to do this for the betterment of the community.”

Jenkins said they are following the state and federal guidelines on how many people should be gathering together, which is currently 10 or less. There were times that there would be seven or eight people on the library computers as well as other patrons in the building.

“We felt that we needed to do proper due diligence as have other agencies and that it would be best to be closed for two weeks,” Jenkins said. “We plan on re-opening at the same time as the schools and we certainly hope that is possible.”

He added the staff has been cleaning and sanitizing frequently to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Jenkins added that if people cannot get their library items back, they will be waiving fines through June 1.

“Nobody has to bring anything back until April 10,” he said. “If they don’t want to get out, they won’t be penalized for that.”

He added that the library will continue to offer free services through the website, www.briggslibrary.com, including Ohio Web Library for academic support and lifelong learning; Ohio Digital Library (Overdrive) for digital books, audiobooks, magazines and videos; Hoopla for books, audiobooks, graphic novels, music and videos, with 12 checkouts per month; Lynda.com for professional development and academic support; Knowledge City for professional development; A to Z Food America for recipes and cooking techniques.

The sites may require a library card number and PIN (the last four digits of the card number) as well as an email address to sign up for the various services. Follow the guidelines on each site for specifics.

Apps for Ohio Digital Library (Libby) and Hoopla (Hoopla) are available for free download through most device app stores.

The library website also has a link to coronavirus sites such as the Lawrence County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health, the governor’s website and other sources of accurate information.

For future updates, please check the library’s website.