Dear Moon Township Community,
Recently it came to our attention that quite a few people had questions about the continued closure of the library during Allegheny County’s Yellow Phase, so we wanted to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion.
The primary reason we remain closed is the shut down of the specific software that we use to check materials in and out to patrons and request holds from across the county. This software is shared by all libraries in Allegheny County and until it is enabled once again, we have no way of providing any type of service to patrons. There is current backlog of almost 20,000 items on hold as well as more in shipping that need to be handled before we can begin operations. Our technical services network is working out a way to ensure that all items can be processed without crashing the software system.
The book drop will remain closed to the public until we are told by the county and the technical services network that we have the ability to check returns in through the software. NO FEES WILL BE ASSESSED on any item and all due dates have been reset to June 15th on currently checked out materials. Please be aware that June 15th is not indicative of an opening date but merely a courtesy put forth by the library association to help manage patron accounts.
All Allegheny County libraries must have adequate PPE in place for all staff and ensure that social distancing and protective measures have been put into place before reopening of any kind can occur. We must have the necessary supplies and space to sanitize and quarantine all materials for at least 72 hours. All libraries, including MTPL, are working on this and we are making the changes we need to ensure staff and patron safety and well being.
As mentioned before, we will be reopening in phases with our first phase being contact-free item pickup. The logistics of this take quite a while to work out so that all Allegheny County libraries are conducting services in a similar manner. We do not have a date on this, but will make sure to share out the information as soon as we do.
We know that this is a frustrating time for everyone. We, too, miss the library and we hate that there is a need to close our doors to patron right now, but we also recognize that it is necessary to make sure that Moon Library continues to be a vital part of the community as we move forward into what is being called the “new normal.” There is so much more involved in reopening than simply unlocking our doors and we are listening to and following all guidelines dictated by both the state and our county.
Remember that we offer electronic services to help fulfill your reading, audiobook and other needs and that we have daily online programming taking place. And if you are missing a physical book in your hands, we have a lot of great independently owned bookstores like Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, that are open for curbside pickup and online shopping and can always use book lovers to help keep them alive and well.
Be safe, Moon. We miss you all and are working to get back to business when we can.