CDPL updates COVID safety plan


Note: The online version of this story includes information about library operations that was released after the print story's deadline.

Crawfordsville District Public Library has updated its COVID-19 safety plan as Montgomery County surpasses 2,100 total coronavirus cases.

The library is scheduled to reopen today with adjusted services after moving to appointment-only services this week due to a high number of quarantined employees.

CDPL will return to front entrance pickup of reading materials, audiobooks and DVDs, the library announced late Friday afternoon. 

Limited computer use will be available by appointment.

CDPL staff will be available by phone and email for research and reference assistant. Patrons can browse the catalog, e-content, virtual programs and research databases on the library's website at

The service adjustments will be in effect until further notice, director of library services Theresa Tyner said. 

The safety plan, which also applies to the Carnegie Museum, lays out requirements for employee health screenings, cleaning and disinfecting facilities and collections materials, social distancing and personal protective equipment. It was written earlier this year after Gov. Eric Holcomb called on government agencies and businesses to enact formal policies to limit the spread of the virus.

“They recently asked us to look them over and revise them,” Tyner said as she presented the updated plan to the library board Thursday. 

Additional measures include the option of setting designated hours for high-risk patrons. The library has already reduced its hours due to the pandemic, closing on Sundays. Public meeting rooms have remained closed.

Employees are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before starting their shifts and wear masks around staff and the public. Masks are also required for all patrons over the age of two.

“Most people are coming in with them on,” Tyner said in response to a question from board member Crystal Benedicks about masks. The library can provide single-use masks for patrons.

Surfaces and carpets were thoroughly cleaned while the library and museum buildings were closed earlier this year. High-touch surfaces are being cleaned multiple times a day. Protective barriers were placed at the circulation desk and other service desks.

HVAC filters have also been upgraded.

Returned materials are quarantined for 72 hours before being placed back onto the shelves or given to patrons who place the items on hold.

The library has linked its level of patron services to the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map. While Montgomery County remains in orange, the library will maintain limited hours or curbside services, limit in-person browsing and computer use and offer grab-and-go kits.

When the county falls into the red, services will be shifted to online or over the phone with possible limited curbside services. No in-person browsing is allowed under the red status and there would be very limited or no public computers available.

In another step to limit the risk of spreading the virus, the board voted to close the Carnegie Museum on four days over winter break for schools, acting on a request from museum director Kat Burkhart.

The museum will be closed on Dec. 23, 26 and 30 and Jan. 2.


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