April 2, 2020:

St. Joseph Public Library Extends Closure in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In a continued effort to protect the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and community during the COVID-19 outbreak, and in response to the extension of the St. Joseph stay-at-home order, the St. Joseph Public Library will remain closed through at least April 30, 2020.  This includes all programs and outreach services.

SJPL does not charge overdue fines and all checkout periods for items not yet due will be extended again to May 15.  All pending holds  are frozen so no one will lose a book they couldn’t pick up or lose their place in line.

SJPL is offering virtual programming on Facebook and YouTube and connect to both on our website.

We strongly encourage all patrons who are able to access electronic and downloadable materials via our website at https://sjpl.lib.mo.us/databases.  SJPL is offering e-content only cards for anyone living in St. Joseph who does not currently have an active library card.  Anyone interested should send an email to mrevels@sjpl.lib.mo.us with their name, address, and birthdate and a library card number will be emailed to them.

Anyone needing to contact the library should call 816-232-4038 or send an email to mrevels@sjpl.lib.mo.us.

We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed if and when any of our services, hours, or programs change.  Please visit our website or Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

March 17, 2020:

St. Joseph Public Library Temporarily Closing in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In an effort to be proactive in protecting the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and community during the COVID-19 outbreak, and at the recommendation of both the Missouri Library Association and American Library Association, the St. Joseph Public Library is closing all four branches beginning Wednesday, March 18, until April 5.  This includes all programs and outreach services.

The decision was difficult as we care deeply about serving our community.  The unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis is changing daily life for most of us and the evidence continues to point to the fact that lessening contact helps slow the spread of the virus.

SJPL does not charge overdue fines and all checkout periods for items not yet due will be extended to April 10.  All pending holds will be frozen so no one will lose a book they couldn’t pick up or lose their place in line.

We strongly encourage all patrons who are able to access electronic and downloadable materials via the Databases & eMedia page our website to do so.

We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed if and when any of our services, hours, or programs change.  Please visit our website or Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Email Library Director, Mary Beth Revels at mrevels@sjpl.lib.mo.us with questions.

Read about the library’s latest actions related to COVID-19:  All programming and room reservations are canceled from March 17, 2020 to May 16, 2020.

March 16, 2020:

In an effort to decrease risk among patrons and staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, St. Joseph Public Library has taken the following actions which are effective as of March 17, 2020 and will remain in effect until at least May 16, 2020.

  • Canceled ALL programs (including storytimes)
  • Canceled all room reservations.

At this time, all of the Library’s branches remain open, though hours may be reduced in the next few days as staff who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 have been encouraged to stay home.  The Library is continuing to promote health and safety within our branches by increasing cleaning and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces.

Please note that while the Library is sanitizing all returned Library materials, patrons are still encouraged to wash their hands after handling materials and avoid touching their faces.

The Library will continue to monitor news and recommendations of health officials and will take additional steps as needed.

We strongly encourage all patrons who are able to access electronic and downloadable materials via our website at https://sjpl.lib.mo.us/databases, to do so.  For assistance using any of these services, contact your preferred SJPL branch or call 816-232-7729.

We are committed to continuous communication to keep you informed of any additional changes to services at the library.  Please continue to monitor our website and our Facebook page for additional information.

Message March 12, 2020:

The topic that the whole world is most focused on these days is COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, and the library is no exception to that.  Check our website post “Cornonavirus Facts” for reliable and up-to-date information about the virus.

While there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in St. Joseph we are taking precautions to keep both you and library staff healthy.  Library actions at this time are business as usual with emphasis on encouraging all people to:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing a nose.
  • When soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or a wipe.

For people visiting the library our custodial staff continues to do an exemplary job of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.  We also have sanitizing wipes available for people to personally wipe down surfaces, such as computer keyboards, in between our own cleanings.

We encourage both patrons and staff who are ill, or who are vulnerable to illness, to stay home.

If and when COVID-19 arrives in St. Joseph, in addition to the actions listed above, we will cancel public programming involving large groups of people and meeting room reservations that also involve groups of people.  We will begin wiping down with disinfecting wipes the exterior of every book, movie, or other library material that is returned.  Library toys will be put away for the duration of the virus outbreak in St. Joseph. The number of public computers available to use by the public will be reduced because we will make sure there is at least 6-feet between people using computers.

We will continue to check materials in and out, as usual.  Library hours may be reduced at a branch if we find that we are unable to staff it.  We are asking staff to be particularly vigilant about illness and stay home if they believe they are ill.  Library branches will only close if we are directed to do so by a health agency, or if a staff member at that branch is diagnosed with the virus.

The library’s Virtual Branch, which you are visiting now, will continue to be available 24/7.  We offer downloadable books, audiobooks, magazines, TV shows, movies, learning opportunities and more on the Databases & eMedia page.  Library staff can help someone get set up with these services and we also offer helpful how-to videos through Niche Academy, which you’ll see on the Databases and eMedia page.

The St. Joseph Public Library is here for you and we will continue to be here throughout any virus outbreak.  We want you to continue to visit, phone us at 816-232-7729, text us 816-249-1377, send us a message through the comment box on the website, email us mrevels@sjpl.lib.mo.us, and continue to visit us right here on the website.

Stay safe and stay well,
Mary Beth Revels, Director