Geauga County – May 8, 2020 – GCPL is extending the closure of all of its Branches while plans are in the works to initiate a phased reopening of some physical services. Library administration, along with the GCPL Board of Trustees, are finalizing a plan to provide some curbside services beginning May 18.
All GCPL Branches will remain closed to the public during this first reopening phase. Specific timing is subject to the availability of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and guidelines for customers.
GCPL will continue to follow guidelines provided by local, county and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another factor that will help guide decision-making around a possible reopening is Columbus Metropolitan Library’s recent partnership with Battelle, whose researchers are analyzing the COVID-19 coronavirus’s lifespan on different types of library materials.
While GCPL Branches will be closed for this extended period of time, digital library resources are available at www.GeaugaLibrary.net, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies and music, plus research and learning tools. All due dates will continue to be extended and we remain a fine-free library.
Additionally, GCPL is furloughing 99 employees, effective May 10, 2020. This furlough affects employees at all locations and across departments. The move comes as a result of the library’s extended closure due to the pandemic along with a projected decrease in state funding. The Public Library Fund (PLF) makes up roughly one third of the Library’s total operating budget. The PLF is 1.7% of the state’s GRF Tax which saw a significant drop in revenue in April with a bigger drop expected in May.
The furloughs will continue for an indefinite amount of time, but the Administration will monitor the situation closely and take its cues from the Governor and the Ohio Library Council as to how best to proceed for each phase of the reopening of public libraries.
The Library’s leadership team and Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. Follow the Library on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and check www.GeaugaLibrary.net for the latest updates.