FARMINGTON – The Farmington Public Library opened its doors once again on Tuesday, offering in-person services Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patrons can call ahead and reserve a half-hour window to visit the library, use the computer services or look at books. Safety precautions are still being enforced, including mask requirements, browsing sticks (popsicle sticks) issued for patrons to look through books, some areas kept off-limits, and a cap of five patrons inside at a time. More of the specific procedures can be found on the library’s website. Curbside will also remain available from Tuesday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“I’m very excited to be able to open the library to patrons again,” Library Director Jess Casey said. “The library’s purpose is to help serve the community, which we have been doing through curbside, but I know there are plenty of people who are anxious to reenter the building to use our computers and browse for books. After doing lots of research and looking at what other libraries are doing, as well as analyzing the situation in the area, I feel like it is safe to reopen to the public in a limited way.”
The Rangeley Public Library and the Carrabassett Valley Public library have also reopened to the public, while many of the other libraries in Franklin County continue to serve the public through curbside and by adapting their in-person activities to fit virtual audiences. The Wilton Public Library is filming their children’s story hour readings and posting them on Facebook to keep members involved.
“The safety and health of the community is our top priority, but as long as people follow our new policies and help keep everyone safe, I think things will go well. We’re looking forward to seeing our patrons again after so long,” Casey said.
The Farmington Public Library is also conducting a fundraiser to restore the finial, a decorative pole on the roof of the building, that was vandalized several years ago. They are taking donations of coins that can be dropped in the library drop-box or virtual donations via PayPal. Local artist, Vera Johnson of Vera’s Iron and Vine, will be performing the restoration project. The estimated cost is under $500 and Director of the Library Board of Directors, Barbara Marshall, is optimistic and believes that the library will reach their goal as long as word gets around that they are accepting donations until September 25. She has faith that the Farmington community will come together to lend a hand so that they can have the restoration in place in October.