Over COVID-19 concerns, the Marble Falls Public Library announced March 11 that it is canceling all public programs, events, and meeting room bookings during the month of March.
The action is one of several in the Highland Lakes over concerns about the novel coronavirus. Previously, Fort Croghan Grounds and Museum officials announced the cancellation of the facility’s Spring Break activities the week of March 14-21. Also, the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department reported March 11 that two vendors for its Spring Break program have pulled out or changed their plans. The Wild Things Zoofari Exotic Animal Show on Friday, March 20, at the library has been canceled. The Craft and Woodwork Workshop at The Home Depot on Thursday, March 19, is a “grab-and-go” event.
The Marble Falls library will remain for normal services during regular business hours.
Library Director Amanda Rose said the decision to cut public programs and events this month came as COVID-19 has almost 80 counties and sickened more than 109,500 people, according to reports. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. Later that same day, President Donald Trump issued a 30-day travel ban starting March 13 for those coming from European Union countries. The ban did not extend to Americans trying to return home or those with permanent residence in the United States.
Rose said the library’s actions are to take care of its patrons.
“I’m in the interest of protecting our patrons, which means cutting down on any type of risk,” Rose said. “We’re just being proactive and smart.”
She emphasized people can still go to the library for services they enjoy such as using the computers, using the library’s WiFi, reading the magazines, books, and newspapers, and other benefits that facility offers.
“All of our services are still available,” she said. “We’ve been busier than ever. By cutting back on these group activities, it frees us up to sanitize the library and try to provide an environment that people feel comfortable to come to.”
Rose noted the facility has hand sanitizer and soap in the bathrooms so people can wash their hands, one of the most important ways to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Currently, the library is not looking beyond March on whether to cancel events. Those decisions will be made at a later date.
“We want people to know we care and are taking precautions,” Rose said. “We’re taking it one day at a time.”