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Local libraries reopened, plan for summer programs

NATCHEZ — Libraries in Natchez and Concordia Parish have reopened for in-house checkouts and services last week, library officials said.

George W. Armstrong Library Director Pam Plummer announced the safe reopening of the Natchez library on June 1.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library has strict guidelines that must be followed, including a maximum of 10 patrons at a time who will each be allowed one hour in the library at a time and all are required to wear masks, Plummer said.

Only three computers will be in service and each user may only use a computer for one hour. Certain amenities such as headphones, water fountains and meeting rooms are not open for public use at this time.

“The Judge George W. Armstrong Library understands we are living and working in times of uncertainty but we must take precautions to protect the library staff and patrons,” Plummer said. “The Library is operating in unchartered waters and we ask for your patience and request you embrace the changes in place while we navigate these difficult times.”

The Vidalia, Ferriday and Clayton branches of Concordia Parish Library — which had been doing curbside book checkouts due to COVID-19 — reopened their doors last week and have started virtual summer reading activities for children, Library Director Amanda Taylor said.

All kids’ activities this summer are being hosted virtually through the website www.concordialibrary.org or on the Concordia Parish Library Facebook page, Taylor said.

New content is uploaded daily beginning at 8 a.m. through July 31, Taylor said.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will feature book talks, crafts, and fun activities for pre-school, elementary and teens. Every Thursday will feature performances from favorite performers that come each summer such as the “snake man,” Harvey Rabbit, magicians and musicians whose virtual appearances are co-sponsored by Concordia Bank & Trust, Taylor said.

On Friday through Sunday are special shows from “Page Turner” and “Absolute Science,” with science experiments, brainteasers and — of course — books, Taylor said.

The virtual activities are free and open to kids of all ages, Taylor said.

“With Concordia Parish Library offering curbside service for almost two months, the library is now open with all services available,” she said. “The Bookmobile is also rolling and new central stops have been created throughout the parish for children and families to get books and summer treat bags.”

New central stops for the Bookmobile service are at Monterey Church of Christ, Vidalia Jr. High and Lismore Baptist Church at select times on Mondays; Paul’s Grocery and New Era Baptist Church on Tuesdays; and the Duck’s Nest restaurant on Wednesdays with special stops made at houses upon request, Taylor said.

More information about the Bookmobile service can be received by calling 318-201-0901 or the Concordia Parish Library at 318-757-3550.

“Many new books have been purchased on all reading levels and are ready to be checked out,” Taylor said. “Come in or call and request just the book you would like to enjoy.  We encourage families to keep their youth reading and looking at books to keep up their reading level, especially with school ending so early.”

Ferriday and Vidalia Libraries are open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Clayton Library is open Monday through Thursday from noon until 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The George W. Armstrong Library is open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and to senior citizens only from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays.