Lewis & Clark Library temporarily closing all branches Tuesday

Lewis & Clark Library temporarily closing all branches Tuesday

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Library books

Cari Haw checks out three months worth of library books March 16 at the Lewis and Clark Library amid fears of coronavirus.

Lewis & Clark Library will close all of its branches beginning Tuesday to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

“The Library is on the front lines and needs to do the socially responsible thing and minimize risk to the community we serve," Director John Finn said in a press release Sunday. 

On Monday, the Helena branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the children's area and the public computers will be closed. The branches in Helena, Lincoln, Augusta and East Helena, as well as the bookmobile, will all be closed from Tuesday until at least April 13. 

“The decision to close the Library buildings in Lewis & Clark County has been a difficult one that we didn’t make lightly," Finn said. "After several days of tough conversations and planning by library leaders, administration, and trustees, we felt closing was in the best interest of our staff and the public. The library needs to do its part in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Nothing that has been checked out will accrue fines, and there is no need to return any library material until May 1. Library card accounts that were due to expire will be extended through April 30. Any items on hold will remain on hold until the library reopens.

Digital materials -- including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks and streaming videos -- remain available through the library's website and corresponding apps. The Libby, OverDrive and Hoopla apps are available to download for free. 

Educational and informative databases are also available on the website. 

The library staff can continue to be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit www.lclibrary for more information.

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