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Library Board Talks Branch Access, Staffing Issues

The Roosevelt County Library Board met via Zoom April 18 at 10 a.m. Library chairperson Beth Hekkel, trustees Laurie Evans, Gloria Mason and Pat Henry and library director Andrea Hayes were in attendance.

The minutes of the Feb. 1 board meeting were reviewed. Evans made a motion to accept the minutes as written, which passed.

The board perused the statement of accounts for March 2020. There were no big purchases last month. Hayes registered to attend the Montana Library Association Convention in Missoula scheduled for April, but was it canceled due to the coronavirus health outbreak. There will be a refund of $273 that should be issued next week.

Hayes discussed public safety measures related to COVID-19. Patrons need to call and make an appointment or knock on the door to enter the library to return and check out items. The library is automatically renewing overdue items as a courtesy to patrons. DVD cards are now behind the circulation desk and patrons ask for the movies they would like. According to Hayes, library usage has reduced dramatically but there has not been a shortage of work that needs to be done.

Culbertson librarian Leona Colvin said the branch’s sole staff member, Rosemary French, has decided to stay home. She added that the branch has been offering online programming for children.

Sheri Harvey, the Froid librarian, said her patrons can call her for the items they want. She checks them out and leaves them in a bag in the entryway for pick up.

Book clubs for the main and branches have been temporarily suspended.

Anita Sheetz, librarian at the James E. Shanley Tribal Library in Poplar, said her branch is closed for the rest of the school year. She has been working from her home.

New staffer Patricia Silva Pronto has been working five hours a day and using the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows an employee to use up to 80 hours of paid sick time. Hayes is working with her to keep her employed.

The next regular meeting is tentatively set for Saturday, May 16, via Zoom.

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