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Hancock Schools District Library opened Monday

HANCOCK — The District Library opened for physical entrance and book check-out Monday, after months of being open only to students for curbside pick-up. The library was closed to entry on June 8, limiting its operations to providing curbside pick-up services for library materials after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered schools in Michigan closed for face-face instruction in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Library users were encouraged to call the library to place materials on hold, or to notify staff they were waiting for their holds at the curbside. The library website instructed patrons to login to the online catalog with their library card to reserve materials, or send an email with material requests.

The hours library’s hours are:

• Monday and Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Sunday: closed

“Per Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-115,” said Superintendent Steve Patchin, “we will be requiring patrons to wear a face covering over his or her nose and mouth, unless a medical condition prevents that. We will also be asking all to follow social distance guidelines, allowing only 15 patrons in the library at a time. Curbside pick up is still available for those not wishing to come in.”

On June 1, the district announced that the Hancock School Public Library was honored with the School Service Award from the Copper Country Association of School Boards and Hancock Public Schools. The award, given to one individual or group every spring, honors outstanding service to education and notable contributions to the quality of education above and beyond expectations. Since the closure of libraries and schools across the state in mid-March, the district library has worked to ensure student were able to retain access to the educational materials they needed to navigate distance learning.

Library Manager Boni Ashburn had been processing new books from home, and making them available for students at the weekly packet pick-up and food distribution site, according to the library website.

In an effort to increase access to digital library resources during the pandemic, Hancock library staff made library card registration available online.

“With no resident requirement for library card sign-up in Hancock, anyone can sign-up for a free, digital library card that provides access to over 14,000 digital books, magazines, movies and more,” the release stated.

On June 8, the Portage Lake District Library began the first phase of their reopening plan, in which library staff returned to work to clean the library and being accepting library returns, quarantine returned.

Patchin announced the reopening of the library last Friday in an email in which he also announced that the school would reopen in the fall for face-to-face instruction.

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