Clark County library requires staff to wear masks

Alissa Zapiecki, an employee of the Clark County Public Library, wears a colorful mask as she puts books back on the shelf in the children's section of the main library Tuesday. All library staff are now required to wear a mask and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear them. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
Alissa Zapiecki, an employee of the Clark County Public Library, wears a colorful mask as she puts books back on the shelf in the children's section of the main library Tuesday. All library staff are now required to wear a mask and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear them. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

All local libraries keeping it optional, but encouraging public to wear them to minimize spread of virus.

The Clark County Public Library will now require all staff, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face masks, while other local libraries will keep them optional.

All libraries, including New Carlisle, Mechanicsburg and Champaign County, are strongly encouraging patrons to wear masks, according to library officials.

“The decision was made so that we can do our part to minimize the spread of the virus,” said Library Director Bill Martino. “We also want patrons to know that we hope to keep our doors open and that we will take what, we feel, are the necessary steps to ensure that we do while at the same time providing a safe environment for them.”

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The New Carlisle Public Library has continued to make masks optional since the mandate was dropped, but the staff have “all remained voluntarily masked” since then, said Library Director Beth Freeman.

“We have staff in vulnerable age ranges as well as staff living with children who are too young to be vaccinated, so all staff members remained masked to better protect everyone,” she said.

Freeman said although masks are optional, they encourage patrons to wear one and provide them at the door. She said the library also continues to offer hand sanitizer, frequently clean surfaces, and have installed air purifiers.

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“After discussion with my board of trustees, it was felt that enforcing a mask policy on patrons without a mandate from the state or county would only have a negative impact on the library’s relationship with our community,” she said.

At the Champaign County Library, Director Ty Henderson said they are not requiring masks, but are recommending staff to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, when working with the public. He said there is also signs in the building recommending the public to wear a mask.

The Mechanicsburg Public Library has also continued to make masks optional, but are “highly recommending” patrons and staff to wear one inside the building, according to Library Director Rebecca Wilden.

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