Ardmore Public Library Awarded CARES Act Grant to Respond to COVID-19

For Immediate Release
7/31/2020
Daniel Gibbs, Library Director
dgibbs@ardmorelibrary.org
580-223-8290

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) has awarded a $1,000 PPE grant to the Ardmore Public Library to help the library purchase personal protective equipment and supplies to keep staff and visitors safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ardmore Public Library is one of 64 institutions to receive a grant from ODL courtesy of the federal CARES Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A total of $60,000 was distributed by ODL to address the coronavirus concerns of public libraries, tribal libraries, tribal cultural centers, museums, and historic sites in the state.

Director Daniel Gibbs said the funding will be used to provide masks, a handheld UV sterilizer, and sanitizing supplies for library staff and customers.

“It looks like we may be dealing with this virus for some time, so it’s very important that we follow CDC guidelines as we provide services to the public,” Mr. Gibbs said. “This grant will provide supplies we need to help reduce risk of exposure for our employees and customers.”

“Our mission is to serve our community, and we want to continue that mission in the safest way we can,” Mr. Gibbs said.

The Ardmore Public Library began curbside service the next day following closing in mid-March and reopened the first week in June to the public.  Library hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.  There is a limit of 50 people in the building at a time.  Half of the public computers are available for a maximum of one hour. Much of the library seating has been removed to establish space for social distancing.  Curbside service remains available as well.  

In developing the grant, ODL Director Melody Kellogg said institutions were surveyed about any hurdles they might face in returning to service during the pandemic.

The top concerns of libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions were a shortage of cleaning supplies and PPE equipment, fear on the part of staff and the public, and the challenge of enforcing social distancing and other best-health practices in their facilities.

“We developed the grant proposal to help address these concerns,” Kellogg said. “We were very fortunate in that we were able to provide some funding to all 64 of the eligible institutions that applied.”

The PPE grant is the first of two that will be available from ODL, with funding from IMLS and the CARES Act. The grants were designed to help the state’s important cultural institutions address two impacts of COVID-19: public health concerns, and the need to breach the digital divide and improve digital inclusion to better serve the public.

“The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the digital divide in our state and nation,” Kellogg said. “At a time when, for safety reasons, we are depending more than ever on electronic communication, far too many of our fellow citizens don’t have the tools or access needed to take advantage of important services.”

Recipients of the Digital Inclusion Grants, totaling $291,320, will be announced later in July.

A complete list of Oklahoma’s 64 PPE Grant recipients is at: news.oklibshare.org/federal-funding/odl-awards-cares-act-ppe-grants-to-64-institutions.

The Ardmore Public Library is a municipal public library serving citizens who live, work, or own property in Carter County, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is the official state library of Oklahoma. The agency serves the information and records management needs of state government, assists with public library development, coordinates library and information technology projects for the state, and serves the general public through its specialized collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services works to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development.

The Library will re-open to the public on Thursday, June 4th. Remote services are still available as well. Virtual story hour is happening Mondays and Fridays at 10 a.m. Call for more information.
We will continue operating with our modified hours of
9-6 Monday through Friday and 1-5 Saturday & Sunday.

The following limitations will be in place:
* 50 people in the building at a time; 1-hour time limit.
In order to control this limit, you will need to stop at the welcome desk and get a numbered ticket upon entering the building, then drop it back off there as you leave.
* 12 computers available; 30-minute time limit.
If you are working on something that requires more time, you must request that before your time expires, and in no case will your time be extended beyond the one-hour library time limit.
* No food or drink, no large bags, no skateboards, scooters, or bikes are permitted in the building, and no personal items can be held for you at the front desk.
* There will be no restoration of meetings at this time.
We will re-evaluate after being open for two weeks and hope to be able to start scheduling meetings again at that time, although with reduced numbers of people per room to allow for appropriate distancing.
* Please observe distance markers on the floor while waiting in lines.
* Initially DVD shelves will be closed, with staff pulling items for you; when traffic slows down, we will allow patrons into that area in limited numbers and with directional arrows on the floor to maintain social distancing.

If you have a cough, we ask that you wear a mask.
If you are running a fever, we ask that you do not come into the library.

For those of you at higher health risk, or simply don’t prefer to return inside the library yet, we will still be taking your requests for items by phone, email, or via the online catalog, and arrange check out with no-contact pick-up, as we have been doing while closed.

Call or email us at 580-223-8290 or aplstaff@ardmorelibrary.org for more information.

Though the library is closed to the public right now, and you cannot come inside, we are still serving you in the following ways:

– CHECK OUT NEW ITEMS:
Call us, email us, or go to your online account to request new items you would like us to check out to you. Once we have your items ready, we will coordinate with you to arrange a no-contact pickup outside the front doors of the library.

– RENEW ITEMS:
Call us, email us, or go to your online account to renew items you already have out and want to keep longer.

– RETURN ITEMS:
Return checked out items via the drive-up book drop at the east end of the building. (We are cleaning all items as they come back in, before checking them in, and putting them back on the shelves.)

– EBOOKS & OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES:
Via our web site, with your library card, you can access online ebooks, audio books, magazines, genealogy resources, and more. If you need help, call us.

– NEW CARD:
If you do not currently have a card and would like to use the online resources while we are closed, you can call, email, or create an account online and we will issue you a card number. (Once we re-open, you can covert that to a card that allows you to check out materials in the library if you wish.)

– REFERENCE QUESTIONS:
If you have a question and don’t know where to look for the answer, give us a call.

– FREE BOOKS:
During hours that we are here, there is a cart parked outside the front doors with books that you can have for the taking. We are restocking the cart as we clean and weed our collections.

Our hours right now for these services are:
Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Our contact information is:
Phone: 580-223-8290
Email: aplstaff@ardmorelibrary.org