CAIRO — Roddenberry Memorial Library has closed as part of an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but that doesn't mean members can't continue to check out books.

Though the library is closed to the public for the next two weeks, staff members are still inside during normal business hours. Library members looking to check out paperbacks, movies or audiobooks can call the library at 229-377-3632 to place an order. Magazines and cake pans cannot be checked out.

If a library member needs children's books about dinosaurs or a handful of action movies to watch, they can call the library, provide their membership number, and have the items checked out to them. Members then provide a time they wish to pick up their items and pull up to the library at the designated time.

"They pop their trunk and we have the books ready, sanitized and in a bag," said library director Janet Boudet. "We put them in their trunk and come back in the building and off they go."

Checked out items are due in two weeks, but they can be renewed. Overdue fees for all items have been waived through early April.

The library's phone number will be posted outside both of its doors with detailed instructions on the curbside checkout process.

Boudet said the curbside concept was one of several ideas borrowed from library systems across the state and the nation attempting to cope with the coronavirus. 

"We're trying to share all of this knowledge as we learn it at the time," she said. "It's unprecedented for all of us."

Online activities will continue to be available during the closure, and Boudet said the library has some plans for parents who need to provide entertainment for children at home. In addition to sharing links to livestreamed storytelling sessions from authors and illustrators, the library is also in the process of creating some storytelling videos of their own, along with self-help tutorials and activities that can be done without leaving the house. 

"We're going to try to put something up every day," Boudet said.

All in-person activities at the library are canceled until April, though Boudet said that could possibly change.

"Each day seems to bring a whole new set of challenges or changes," she said.

Anyone interested in signing up for a library membership can do so remotely by going to gapines.org and clicking "Apply for a Pines Library Card."

Free wi-fi is available outside the library at all hours and does not require library membership to access.

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