Mississippi libraries begin reopening with new services and safety measures

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Libraries across the hospitality state began reopening Tuesday with new services and safety measures to keep people safe.

The M.R. Davis Library in Southaven is one of the local libraries offering these new services for people in the Mid-South.

“It’s been hard on all of us but I’m hoping this will give us a little bit of the sense of that community back,” Brand and Marketing Strategist David Brown said.

Since closing, the library moved a lot of services online but they know it is not the same.

Today, people were able to start picking up and dropping off books via curbside.

“Anything that comes in from that,” Brown said. “The staff person will be wearing masks and gloves and those books will be quarantined for a number of days until they are safe for another staff member to handle and for our patrons.”

People like Paula Ables says these services are helpful for her since she homeschools her children and relies on the library.

“We use the library a great deal,” Ables said. “Especially for home school studies, just for fun, you can check out puzzles. I know a lot of people utilize the computer here. So, we’re very thankful for our library and we’ve missed it very much.”

Her daughter Meredith misses the connection with friends from the library’s book clubs and is now getting creative to stay in touch.

“We can Facetime, we’ve been able to text,” Ables said. “So, I’m really thankful for technology.”

The new curbside services are great for people like Kalaya Sykes who picks up books for her mother who cannot do it herself.

“It’s definitely helpful, especially with the cases increasing daily,” Sykes said. “I do appreciate the extra steps especially for the city and what they’re doing to help us out.”

Curbside pickup is currently offered at five branches and is by appointment only. There’s not physical contact as you pick up your items from a table there.

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