PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Public Library facilities in Burgaw and Hampstead are now open to the public. However, both libraries will continue to offer ‘outdoor pick-up’ service to customers who do not wish to enter out of precaution.

The buildings are open to walk-in traffic Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Phase 2 of re-openings.

“Library visitors will find touchless disinfectant dispensers and a host of social distancing and precautionary measures in place,” said Mike Taylor, Pender County Library director. “Customers can browse the collections.”

“The libraries continue to apply precautionary measures to disinfect all returned books, DVDs and all other items before allowing them to be loaned again,” Taylor said. “Pender doubles-up on recommended disinfection techniques to kill COVID-19 virus that may be on books and other items that customers borrow.”

According to Taylor, all returned items are quarantined days before they can be shelved or check out again. Secondly, staff sprays disinfectant on book covers, DVDs, etc. that is CDC approved to kill COVID-19.

Outdoor pick-up is a service the library has continually offered since the doors closed in March. Here’s how that works according to library officials: Customers phone in requests for books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc. during business hours. Customers can also send requests through their online accounts 24/7. Personal library accounts are accessed from the library webpage.

Customers then wait until they are notified that their requests are ready for pick-up. Afterwards at their convenience, customers call the library when they arrive in the parking lot. Staff then place the customer’s books and other items on a table outside library entrances for ‘pick-up.’

The library’s website at penderpubliclibrary.org has a new, fresh look that is also mobile-phone friendly. New pages highlighting newly added books and other items are available. Several new virtual services are available from the website, included online story times for children and applying for a library card.

Taylor also forewarns library visitors that study and meeting rooms are still not available and that most public seating in the buildings has been taken out of service during Phase 2.

However, public computers are available as well as wireless Internet both in and outdoors. He said many visitors are using Internet from their cars and use benches on the library grounds.

For more information, call the libraries during business hours at 910-259-1234 in Burgaw or 910-270-4603 in Hampstead. Visit the library’s website at penderpubliclibrary.org.

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