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Mid-Continent Public Library System launched “Express Service.” This allows patrons to independently browse and pick up items inside library branches, services that were previously stopped due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Customers, who must continue to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times inside MCPL locations, are now able to do the following:

• select items from the shelves on their own and check them out using the self-check kiosks at the front of their branch; and

• use public computers, fax machines, printers and copiers.

Branches will continue to operate curbside and drive-up window service to those picking up materials placed on hold, but customers can also retrieve them inside the branch, states a release.

Items being returned must be returned to an indoor or outdoor book drop. They will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked back in, but no fines will accrue from this additional time.

“The past several months have been very challenging, but our goal throughout this time has been to balance safety with customer service,” said Steven V. Potter, MCPL Director and CEO. “We’ve implemented a number of new protocols that have allowed us to take this next step forward, including altering our staff schedules to reduce risk of branch closures, and we’re very pleased that these measures have been successful. We continue to look for innovative ways we can serve our community in a safe manner.”

Customers are still asked to limit their visits inside MCPL locations to 90 minutes or less to promote lower building occupancy rates for social distancing purposes.

Public computers can be used for 60 minutes per day and are spaced to comply with social distancing recommendations. WiFi continues to be available outside the branches 24/7.

Services that are still not available include: in-person library events, meeting room use, gathering in large groups and using children’s computers.

Virtual events are available on MCPL’s social media pages as well as Dial-A-Story, a phone-based storytime available by calling 701-6904.

More information on available services can be found at mymcpl.org/COVID.

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