North Cobb Regional Library prevents spread of the Coronavirus

Located+next+to+the+children%E2%80%99s+section+of+the+library%2C+books+wait+in+this+closed-off+room+for+their+hours+of+quarantine+to+end.+The+North+Cobb+Regional+Library+set+up+an+organized+system+on+how+these+returned+books+get+processed.+%E2%80%9CAll+of+the+books+go+into+quarantine+for+at+least+72+hours.+So+we+have+some+people+who+are+more+at+risk+than+others%2C+so+then+if+they%2C+you+know%2C+say+that+they+aren%27t+comfortable+with+it%2C+they+aren%27t+touching+any+books+at+all.+So+we%E2%80%99ll+just+have+staff+that+comes+in+after+the+72+hours%2C+and+we+process+them+like+we+used+to...when+people+return+it%2C+we+have+them+return+it+into+the+book+drop+so+we+don%27t+actually+have+to+touch+it+right+away%2C%E2%80%9D+Kristen+Gwin%2C+head+of+teen+services%2C+said.

Located next to the children’s section of the library, books wait in this closed-off room for their hours of quarantine to end. The North Cobb Regional Library set up an organized system on how these returned books get processed. “All of the books go into quarantine for at least 72 hours. So we have some people who are more at risk than others, so then if they, you know, say that they aren't comfortable with it, they aren't touching any books at all. So we’ll just have staff that comes in after the 72 hours, and we process them like we used to...when people return it, we have them return it into the book drop so we don't actually have to touch it right away,” Kristen Gwin, head of teen services, said.

Beth Hudson, Reporter

Since its opening in September 2019,  The North Cobb regional library has represented a place of community and learning for North Cobb students. When the library closed due to COVID-19 on March 12th, students could no longer check out books in person, but since the library’s reopening on July 6th, precautions protect all library users. Now, when books are returned, they start their quarantine process for about 96 hours in a closed room to prevent any chance of spreading of the coronavirus. 

     “We can wipe down [book] covers but we literally cannot spray the pages, so you know quarantining them for 96 hours we feel at least we are going by the CDC that it’s enough you know to kill the virus,” head of the makerspace, Vidhya Jagannathan, said.

    The North Cobb Regional Library also opened a new library service, curbside pickup. Library users can put books on hold here, fill out this google form and a library employee will deliver the books to the library user’s car.  

“I think we could have a lot more people doing it, it’s kind of like people don’t really know about it but it’s such a great option for people. I mean, for one, you don’t have to park all the way back there and walk all the way back up, and then it’s already ready for you so you don’t have to do anything. I think it’s going to catch on more and it’s going to be something that stays even after COVID I think,” Kristen Gwin, head of teen services, said. 

Masks became recommended when the library first re-opened and library users responded positively. According to Kristin Gwin, about 98% of people coming into the library would wear a mask. If they did not have one, they received a mask courtesy of the library. This led the library to start requiring masks as of August 31st.

     Upon entering the library, patrons see an employee ready to take their temperature. According to Kristen Gwin, anyone with a temperature that reads at or over 100.4 must either step outside or wait before retaking the temperature check. Once a library employee has verified that your temperature is under 100.4, you can either check out a book on hold, browse the book choices, or use a computer. The library also removed seating to limit gatherings. Their teen room remains open, but only to browse the teen books available. 

     “We took away all seating and stuff that way people can’t hang out for a long period of time so they have to they come in, grab their stuff, and then they can check out,” Gwin said. 

      Even though the library does not have any in-person events currently, virtual events take place for anyone to join. For example, Girls Who Code meets every Saturday at 1 p.m. virtually. To register and for more information click here. The Library also offers a teen census trivia game in which after filling out this google form by September 10th, you could attend and potentially win a prize. 

     Even though they have changed their normal procedures, the North Cobb Regional library still strives to help the community with its resources and hopes to do so for a long time.

      “We miss the kids from North Cobb, and we know they are looking forward to when we open up. You know come four o’clock it’s just so packed and cheerful here, so we miss that,” Jagannathan said.