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James V. Brown Library to remain open amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Although they are working to comply with the new guidelines from Gov. Tom Wolf instituted this week, the James V. Brown Library has no plans to close at this point, according to Barbara S. McGary, executive director.

“At this point, we’re keeping an eye on the numbers, but we’re not planning on closing the library,” McGary said.

“We’re planning on keeping the library open for the 45 hours a week. We are following the governor’s new mask orders for internal offices,” she said, referring to the governor’s order for people who work in close proximity.

The issue of closing the library due to the increase in the number of cases of coronavirus rising in the county was brought up earlier in the day at a meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees.

Board member Kyle Murphy had asked McGary if there was a certain benchmark that if reached would trigger closure of the library.

“Originally we were looking at the governor’s guidelines and what his orders look like for non-essential businesses,” she said.

McGary said the library had been following those guidelines and the guidelines from the CDC. They were also looking at the capacity of local hospitals to see if they could meet the demands of the pandemic.

“What does our workforce look like? Are there people that are unable to work because they’re sick or quarantined?” she asked.

“We have already reduced our workforce to a bare bones workforce. Keeping a tab, but there isn’t a magic number that we’re looking at,” she added.

Also during the meeting, McGary had urged the group to contact state legislators in order to petition them to vote for level funding next year for the library system.

She noted that there are 600-plus libraries across the state which share $59 million in state aid, which McGary asserted is “a drop in the bucket.”

In other business, Robin Glossner, development coordinator, announced that the library will be raffling off a first edition, signed copy of David Baldacci’s new novel, “Daylight,” an Atlee Pine thriller. Tickets will be on sale from now until Dec. 17 and can be purchased online or by sending a check or an email. For more information go to jvbrown.edu or phone: 570-326-0536.

Baldacci will be the featured speaker at the library’s gala in 2021.

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