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Tuesday, August 18, 2020
A Message to Parents and Students


Students are headed back to schools, but it is far from business as usual.

Libraries are in the same boat.

We’ll get right to the point: Because of some restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the library will not be available as a waiting spot for students after school. We also will not be a good place for children to spend the day, so please do not make plans to leave unattended children at the library, even for short periods.

As much as we hate to say it, we wanted to let everyone know so that no one is caught by surprise. One thing that’s hard to come by with all of the happenings in the world is solid information, so when we had solid news, even though it’s not good news, we felt sharing was the right thing to do.

We also want to reassure everyone that this is not an announcement we’re making because kids and teens are an anticipated problem. Some of our favorite patrons practically grew up in the library, and we’ve loved seeing shared art pieces, group projects coming together, friendships forming, and yes, we’ve shared some frustrations whenever we’ve hosted programs at our after school Teen Times. Nearly all of our after-school visitors have been polite and respectful, and few patrons make a bigger impact on the library. The library is a lively, vibrant place when they’re around.

That said, because the library is set up for grab-and-go service, it’s not a good place to wait for a ride, for a parent or guardian, or for any extended period of time during the day or after school.

Here are some rules that are currently in place that will have an impact on those who use the library, after school or otherwise. Please know that these rules apply in all of our buildings and spaces, including lobbies and between sets of doors:

For Patrons Who Aren’t Parents or Students: We anticipate that libraries will be busier after school on weekdays. We suggest using libraries outside the hour of 3pm and 4pm on weekdays.

30-Minute Time Limit: We are encouraging everyone to use the library in a grab-and-go style, and we would prefer library visits be as quick as possible, but we understand some transactions or needs take longer. That said, we’re limiting stays to 30-minute maximums. This applies regardless of age or purpose in using the library.

1 Person Per Computer: This will be strictly enforced.

Building Occupancy Limits: We are operating with tight occupancy limits. Once a building reaches its maximum occupancy, it’s a one-in, one-out system. So, there’s a very good chance, if you arrive at the library after school, you may need to wait outside until others leave. Even if the weather is bad, you will not be able to wait in between doors or in lobbies.

Hours: All branches open at 9am and close at 4pm Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are from 10am to 2pm for no contact pick up. This applies to ALL libraries.

Masks: Masks, properly worn to cover the nose and mouth, are required inside library buildings with the exception of children 2 and under.

Children 10 and Under: Children 10 and under are not permitted to be in the library without a responsible party. This may be more strictly enforced than it has been in the past.

Reduced Offerings: Numbers of available computers have been reduced due to spacing needs, and furniture, other than chairs at computers, is at a minimum.

Many CCLS employees are parents, and many CCLS employees are students. We understand the challenges of balancing work, life, family, and all the other demands of living under these new circumstances. Many of us are also struggling to figure out how to make all the pieces fit together.

As a library, we’re used to filling gaps in the community. And we hate saying “No.” And in this case, we’ve decided that being honest and forthcoming is the best thing we can do for our communities.

We’ve been happy to see so many of you after school, and so many of you have made great use of the library in the hours between school letting out and a ride showing up. We hope to see a future where things return to normal and the library is once again a good place to hang out after school.

Sincerely,

Eva White, Director
Crawford County Library System

Eva White Retires

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Announcement from CCLS Director Eva White:
 

"At the July 14th meeting of the Crawford County Library Board, I submitted my resignation as the Director of the Crawford County Library System. I plan to retire AGAIN. This time I have a plan in place to occupy my free time and begin this new phase of my life. My last day will be December 31, 2020.
 

I want to thank the citizens of Crawford County for this opportunity to serve you as library director for the last 20 years. You have supported me beyond my wildest dreams. You allowed me to dream and you made those dreams come true. As I leave this position, I challenge each of you to continue that support with the next library director. The library system still needs that support to continue to grow and give the citizens of Crawford County the library services they need and deserve.
 

I will never forget all the friends that I have made here. Crawford County is a friendly and supportive place to live. It has become my home. Thanks for everything!"

COVID-19 Library Updates

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Friday, October 14, 2020
Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Libraries Reopen to the Public on Monday, October 19


The Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Public Libraries will reopen to the public on Monday, October 19. Those libraries are currently offering no-contact pick up, which will continue tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

The two other libraries in the Crawford County Library System – Mountainburg and Cedarville — were not affected and have continued to operate as usual. Nothing will change for them.

The temporary reduction in services occurred due to the library's COVID–19 policy, which had to be followed. Last week, the library staff in Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren came in contact with a person who later tested positive for COVID-19. This person was part of a small tour group that visited each of those libraries and did not interact with patrons.

This week library personnel have been tested for COVID-19 to make sure the virus did not spread. Because of the negative test results, the Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Public Libraries will reopen next week.

While it was a hard decision to temporarily pause services, it was a necessary step to protect both the staff and the public. We appreciate your patience and concern during this difficult time.

Please remember that you may also use our online services, which include eBooks, eAudio books, and a multitude of other services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Simply visit www.crawfordcountylib.org.

We look forward to seeing you in one of our five county libraries next week beginning Monday, October 19. Library hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and we are doing no-contact pick up from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.




Monday, October 12, 2020
Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Libraries Transition to No-Contact Pickup
for the Week of October 13-18

 

The Alma and Mulberry Public Libraries will transition to No-Contact Pick Up for the week of October 13-18. Van Buren will close Tuesday, October 13, for cleaning, and will open Wednesday, October 14-18 for No-Contact Pick Up. Cedarville and Mountainburg Public Libraries will remain open to the public during regular business hours, as usual.

Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Libraries are curtailing services due to an abundance of caution. Late last week, there was a small tour of the libraries. Four people were in attendance. On Sunday, October 11, Eva White, director of the Crawford County Library System, was informed that one of those attendees had tested positive for COVID-19.


It is believed that no patron was exposed; however, there is a minute chance that certain members of the staff may have been affected. Because of that, the decision was made to close Alma, Mulberry, and Van Buren Libraries to the public for this week.


All the staff who had contact with the tour will be tested for COVID-19. No one will return to work until quarantine has been completed, and negative test results have been confirmed.


The Crawford County Library System will update the status of the three libraries later in the week. In the meantime, please use the No-Contact Pick Up for any items you'd like to check out. If you need help, please call your home library. You may also use our online services, which include eBooks, eAudio books, and a multitude of other services. Simply visit www.crawfordcountylib.org.

Alma Public Library: (479) 632-4140
Mulberry Public Library: (479) 997-1226
Van Buren Public Library: (479) 474-6045


Thursday, June 11, 2020
Crawford County Public Libraries to Reopen
Wednesday, June 17, 2020, with Limited Hours and Services

 

The Crawford County Libraries in Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Mulberry, and Van Buren will reopen to the public on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, with limited hours and services.


During this first phase of reopening, the libraries will be open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Services will be “transactional,” which means each location will accept returns, provide checkouts and offer computer use and printing. Each of the libraries will also be open Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for No-Contact pickup only.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the hour from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. will be reserved for our older patrons and those that have compromised immune systems.


Several new protocols will be followed by staff and patrons, and 6-foot social distancing will be practiced. Important information about the CCLS reopening is as follows:
• Face masks or face coverings will be required for patrons ages three years of age and older. These must be in place to enter the libraries, and while inside the facilities.
• Libraries will regulate entry to maintain capacity limits. During the first phase of reopening, only 6 people per 1000 sq. feet will be allowed inside the buildings at any given time. These numbers will vary by branch location.  This will help with social distancing.
• Due to the limited capacity, time limits for use of the facilities will be imposed to provide the most patrons with equal access in a fair manner. Initially, a 30-minute time limit will be in place.
• Patrons will be required to register by signing in at the registration table at each branch.  The registration process allows for contact tracing should it become necessary.
• Certain areas of the library will be closed for the time being.
• Children under the age of 10 must be with caregivers at all times.


The staff will be cleaning and disinfecting during each day to keep the libraries as safe as possible for patrons and staff.


Patrons are encouraged to continue using No-Contact Delivery at each branch, available Monday-Friday, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Please return all library items to the book drops at each branch.  These items will be quarantined for the specified time.


Patrons are encouraged to use digital services for e-Books and e-audiobooks, summer reading club signup, and access to hundreds of resources online through the library system’s website and digital apps. Visit www.crawfordcountylib.org to see a full list of offerings. 


The Crawford County Libraries closed to the public on March 16 due to COVID-19. During this time, essential staff has worked to serve patrons virtually, continued internal operations, and provided additional online resources.  As additional services are reinstated, the Crawford County Library System will promptly communicate to the public through the website, social media, emails, and press releases.


For more information, please visit the Crawford County Library System at www.crawfordcountylib.org, or call the branch libraries with any questions.


 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
The Crawford Library System Will Begin
No-Contact Book Delivery Service on Monday, May 18.

 

The Crawford County Library System will begin no-contact book delivery service beginning Monday, May 18, at our five locations in Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Mulberry, and Van Buren.

The system will work like this:

  1. Patrons will place holds on library materials, either through our website, www.crawfordcountylib.org or by calling the libraries directly. Phone service will begin at 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 18.
  2. Library Staff will gather the items from 9:00 a.m. until noon, Monday through Friday, and will call patrons once those orders are filled. From noon until 4:00 p.m., patrons will be informed by phone of a pick-up time for those items.
  3. Once a patron has arrived at the designated location, they will call the library to announce their arrival. If a patron does not have a cellphone, they may call the library before they leave their home, informing the staff of their approximate arrival time.
  4. Library staff will have a patron’s order ready, in a bag with the patron’s name clearly visible.
  5. At each location, measures are in place that will allow patrons to pick up their orders without coming into contact with library staff.
  6. Library items that need to be returned may be left in the library’s drop box.
  7. No book donations will be accepted at this time.
  8. Each of the five libraries will announce on their Facebook page detailed instructions for the non-contact book delivery service at their location.

For your convenience, here are the phone numbers for you to call:
Alma Public Library (479) 632-4140
Cedarville Public Library (479) 410-1853
Mountainburg Public Library (479) 369-1600
Mulberry Public Library (479) 997-1226
Van Buren Public Library (479) 474-6045


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Crawford County Library System has worked hard to serve our communities. We have given away hundreds of books, conducted book clubs and story times, craft classes, and even games of bingo on social media platforms, and have gathered timely resources that can be accessed through our website, www.crawfordcountylib.org.

We have followed the direction of Governor Asa Hutchinson, and our local governments, making sure we are doing all we can in the fight against COVID-19. We have stayed in touch with our Board of Directors, making thoughtful and cautious decisions in the midst of this crisis.

As we take this first step to bring our patrons more services, we are thankful that our communities have not been as affected as other parts of the country. It is a solemn time in our nation’s history and one that is challenging us to find new ways to do things that seemed commonplace just two months ago.

We hope that our no-contact delivery service fills your need for good books and important information that has been limited until now. We still do not know when our libraries will reopen, but as soon as we do, we will let you know.

Thank you for all you’ve done to flatten the curve. We appreciate every sweet call and email we’ve gotten. Amid all your worry, many of you have taken the time to check on us.
Ours is a great community, filled with so many good people. We are thankful each day for getting to be part of your lives.

Director Eva White, Crawford County Library System
 


Thursday, March 26, 2020
Crawford County Libraries Promote Online Services.
All Five Locations Remain Temporarily Closed.
 

To do our part to stop the spread, the Crawford County Library System will remain temporarily closed until further notice. As you can imagine, this is a difficult situation. However, with Governor Hutchinson's directive to limit group contact to ten persons or fewer, it would be impossible to conduct business at our five libraries in Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Mulberry, and Van Buren in an effective way.
 

As we write this press release, Arkansas has 308 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two deaths. Arkansas public schoolchildren will not return to class until at least April 17. Each of us is trying to maneuver life in the age of COVID-19.


While we wait for the situation to stabilize, patrons are encouraged to use our online services at www.crawfordcountylib.org, available 24 hours a day. Check out eBooks and audiobooks. Recently, we added many new titles to accommodate the growing popularity of this service.
 

As for physical library materials (books, movies, etc.) that are checked out, patrons need not worry. We have suspended late notices for now. Keep those items if you can. If patrons must return them, our drop boxes are open at each of our locations.


We are working on updating all library cards that have been active in the past two years. In the meantime, if patrons need library cards renewed or need PINs added or changed, or have questions about using our online services, you may email the director of your local library. Those addresses are listed below:

dporter@crawfordcountylib.org (Van Buren)
smunguia@crawfordcountylib.org (Alma)
regerton@crawfordcountylib.org (Mulberry)
mburleson@crawfordcountylib.org (Mountainburg)
mbelk@crawfordcountylib.org (Cedarville)
 

While we are waiting for our operations to return to normal, please know that we are thinking of our patrons and our communities. It has been encouraging to see so many doing so much to help. You are an inspiration to us all.


Eva White, Director
Crawford County Library System
 


Sunday, March 22, 2020
No Curbside Service Due to the Increased Number of COVID-19 Cases in Arkansas

 

As difficult as this decision was to make, the Crawford County Library has decided NOT to offer curbside delivery at our libraries. The service was scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23, at our five libraries: Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Ralph D. Graf Library of Mulberry, and Van Buren.
 

However, after listening to Governor Hutchinson's latest press conference, it was clear that the virus is spreading rapidly. As of Sunday, March 22, Arkansas has 165 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 119 others under investigation.
 

As much as we want to get books and other materials to our patrons, we believe it's prudent to pause for now. Please know that we are monitoring the situation daily, gathering information several times a day, and conducting virtual meetings with the Crawford County Library Staff regularly.
 

We know how much our libraries mean to you. We want you to know how much they mean to us. Our programs begin with infants, who come with their families to hear stories, listen to songs, and make lifelong friendships. We go to assisted living facilities and Head Start programs to read and do crafts. We cook with teenagers. We have classes for adults that include everything from painting to playing Bingo.
 

We love it all. We miss it terribly.
 

While we're waiting to get back to normal, please utilize our online services at www.crawfordcountylib.org. You can check out eBooks and audiobooks. Just last week, we added a trove of new titles, so you're sure to find something you like.
 

Finally, we are thinking of each of you, and holding you close in our thoughts. Libraries are the heartbeat of our communities, and our hearts are broken right now. Please take care of yourself and your family. Practice social distancing. Let's all do our part to flatten the curve.
 

Eva White, Director
Crawford County Library System
 


Thursday, March 19, 2020

 

The Crawford County Library System will be closed the week of March 23. The decision to shut down for another week was a difficult one. However, we have been gathering information each day on COVID-19, as more cases are confirmed, and following the advice of local, state, and national experts. We want to do all we can to flatten the curve, a term that's new to most of us but so important as we navigate these uncharted waters.


We will reevaluate the situation by next Friday, March 27, and let you know our plans, which will be posted on our Facebook pages and on our website. Thank you so much for understanding.


Until then, you can check out eBooks and audio books at our website, www.crawfordcountylib.org. If you need to update your library card or change your PIN number, email your local library director.


ewhite@crawfordcountylib.org  (CCLS)
dporter@crawfordcountylib.org  (Van Buren)
smunguia@crawfordcountylib.org  (Alma)
regerton@crawfordcountylib.org  (Mulberry)
mburleson@crawfordcountylib.org (Mountainburg)
mbelk@crawfordcountylib.org (Cedarville)
 

In these uncertain times, please know how much our communities mean to us and how fortunate we feel to serve you. We are looking forward to the day when our libraries are again bustling with activity, and when we can see your smiling faces.

Stay safe and practice social distancing. We hope to see you soon.
 


Monday, March 16, 2020
Crawford County Public Libraries to Close to the Public

 

In keeping with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s closure of Arkansas schools and the recommendation to avoid interaction to combat the spread of Covid-19, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, at 5:00 pm, the Crawford County Library System will close. The closure includes libraries in the cities of Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Mulberry, and Van Buren. The CCLS Library Board will be monitoring the Covid-19 crisis and making the decision when to re-open. Rest assured that we will open as soon as circumstances allow us to do so.
 

Since we do not charge fines, items that are not returned on their due date will not be considered late.  We will not be sending out overdue notices.  Our drop boxes will be open for patrons to return items and will be emptied on a daily basis. All returned items will be cleaned and sanitized before they are shelved.
 

Additionally, patrons may check out eBooks and eAudiobooks, which are available at www.crawfordcountylib.org. This service is operational 24 hours a day. Wifi is available outside at each branch library.
 

If students need information for online classes, they may send an email to their local librarian, at the addresses below, to request help with reference questions:
 

ewhite@crawfordcountylib.org  (CCLS)
dporter@crawfordcountylib.org  (Van Buren)
smunguia@crawfordcountylib.org  (Alma)
regerton@crawfordcountylib.org  (Mulberry)
mburleson@crawfordcountylib.org (Mountainburg)
mbelk@crawfordcountylib.org (Cedarville)
 

Again, this schedule will be continually evaluated as the situation develops.
 

Eva White
Director, Crawford County Library System
 


Sunday, March 15, 2020


The libraries in Crawford County (Alma, Cedarville, Moutainburg, Mulberry and Van Buren) will be open tomorrow beginning at 8:30. We will be following our Pandemic Policy the rest of the week. That policy states that when the public school in a city where a library is located closes, the library will close also. Since all the schools are closed at the Governor’s directive we will close also at 5:00 pm tomorrow. We will watch the situation closely during this week and make a decision about Spring Break Week by Friday, March 20th.
 

If you need books for the duration of this closing, please come to any branch of the system tomorrow to check them out. We will be making decisions tomorrow about Interlibrary Loan orders and other pertinent problems caused by this pandemic. Those decisions will be posted on our web page at www.crawfordcountylib.org and the face book pages of each branch library.
 

The health and welfare of our patrons and staff are our main concern. Please stay safe during this crisis.
 

Eva White
Director
 


Friday, March 13, 2020


The safety of our patrons and employees is a priority to the libraries of the Crawford County Library System (Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, Mulberry, Van Buren). We are working to stay on top of this evolving COVID-19 situation following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas Department of Health, and the Crawford County Health Department.
 

Our current plan is to: 1) prioritize the safety and health of our patrons and staff; 2) continue serving your library needs for the time being; and 3) plan ahead for changing circumstances.
 

In the interest of public health and effective immediately, all Library events are canceled through April 12, 2020. We will work on rescheduling events at a later date. This includes all story times and regularly scheduled programs.
 

Until further notice, the libraries of the Crawford County Library System will remain open to the public with normal hours of operation. CCLS is taking these steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. If a patron is sick, we will renew items over the phone. Since we do not charge for overdue items, patrons do not have to worry about items that are slightly overdue. We also have an outside drop box for returning books at each site. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
 

How we are responding:
Library cleaning: Surfaces are wiped down with disinfectant three times a day. Wipes are available at service desks if patrons want to wipe down computers or other equipment they plan to use. We are disinfecting materials in the collection as they are checked in as we have done for several years.
In addition, we have removed all toys from the Children’s Area of the Library as these items are difficult to disinfect quickly and are passed between patrons frequently.
 

• Staff and patron hygiene: Wipes are available to staff and patrons to wipe down surfaces and we encourage frequent hand-washing by everyone.
• Library services: We are developing staffing and service models should we need to reduce or modify services.
How patrons can help:
• If you are sick, please stay home.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Cough into your elbow if you are sick.
 

Next steps:
We are monitoring the situation closely, staying up-to-date on information from federal agencies, health organizations, and other experts. We will post more information when changes occur. Thank you for working to keep CCLS a healthy environment.
 

Eva White
CCLS Director
ewhite@crawfordcountylib.org


Where to get facts:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Arkansas Department of Health (ADH)

Useful resources:
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Travel Health Notices from the CDC
Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities from IDPH
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions from IDPH
• COVID-19 Respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes IDPH

 

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