Artesia residents petition for reopening of the public library

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The Citizens for Reopening the Artesia Public Library started a petition to Mayor Raye Miller, the Artesia City Council, the Library staff and board of directors in hopes for the town’s public library to reopen their doors to the community.

*To sign click here.

The petition reads:

The Artesia Public Library is a public entity, deemed “essential” by our governor. The people of Artesia, young and old, deserve a safe, clean place that supports learning- to look for reading materials and research the internet. A place for students to meet with tutors, small business owners to meet with clients, and a place to print or fax documents.

We, have provided the library staff, board of directors, and the Mayor’s office with guidance and safe options for reopening modeled after the Roswell and Carlsbad public libraries, both of which are open and serving their communities. We believe that the Artesia library has the ability to safely open to the public under the same protocols that both the Carlsbad and Roswell libraries have successfully displayed for the past two months.

Carlsbad’s entire library is currently open full time from 9 am-6:00pm Monday to Friday with senior citizens or high-risk hours from 9-11:00 am. They offer curbside pickup those same hours as well as on Saturdays.
Roswell library has been open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 10am-2:00pm with senior citizens or high-risk hours from 10-11:00am. Starting Tuesday, October 13, 2020, they will be operating on normal business hours with an hour break from 2-3:00 where they will close the library to disinfect.

These resources can be made available safely utilizing tried and proven mitigation strategies, already in place in public spaces throughout the city, county and state. These successful strategies include:

·       Mandate face coverings for all patrons
·       Provide for social distancing while in the library
·       Allow not more than 25% capacity
·       Implement time limits for patrons
·       Allow time for regular cleaning and disinfection
·       Set aside specific hours for senior citizens and at-risk populations
·       Digital checkout
·       Glass/plexi glass barriers in place as needed

These strategies would allow employees to maintain a contactless experience with patrons. These would also greatly mitigate the risk of any employee or patron of the library from contracting the virus during their visit.

We are grateful to the City of Artesia for its cautious approach to managing city services during the pandemic. This track record of responsible leadership leads us to believe the city can likewise design an approach to begin the process of expanding those services.

We formally request the City of Artesia to open the entire library’s book selection, including the children’s selection, and computer resources to the community. 

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