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Prendergast Library Board Discusses Reopening Plan

Pictured is the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown. P-J file photo

James Prendergast Library officials have created a plan to reopen the facility.

On Thursday, the library board held an online meeting, discussing the plan to reopen the library, which has been closed since March 15.

Annie Greene, library executive director, said next week she is going into the library to start preparing the building to be reopened. She said library officials will start with curbside pickup during New York Forward’s Phase 2, which is expected to start in about two weeks after Phase 1 was started earlier this week. She added library officials plan to open the facility during Phase 3, which is expected to start in four weeks.

Greene said there are supplies she will need to buy before the library reopens, like a device to read people’s temperature and Plexiglas dividers that will be installed in different areas of the facility. She said once the building is reopened, library officials will only be allowed to reach 50% of its normal capacity of people in the facility. She added there will be new hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, once reopened.

Greene said library officials have created a plan for reopening, but it could change frequently to adapt to the unknown situation of how people will respond once the building is open again.

“We’ve never done this before … I will come across things I didn’t think about,” she said.

Greene said her biggest concern for reopening the facility is patron behavior.

“I’ve been reading a lot about people not following the rules,” she said.

In other business, the board discussed a flier that will be sent to registered voters in the Jamestown Public Schools District who will be eligible to vote on the 259-vote.

Last year, the board passed a resolution to ask homeowners in the school district for $350,000 in property tax support for the library. The 259-vote was originally scheduled to happen in May, along with the school district’s budget vote. However, because of COVID-19, the vote was canceled. Now the vote has been rescheduled for June 9, which will take place via absentee ballots.

Cassie Blakeslee, library board member, said there are 11,397 registered voters in the school district. She said the fliers will start to be mailed to residents in the school district tomorrow. She said the cost of producing the fliers was $2,771.

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