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Library: "Returns Can Wait Until We're Back Open"

Stanley Branch Book DropGASTON COUNTY, N.C. – The Gaston County Public Library is asking its patrons to help them “flatten the curve” by keeping your library materials at home instead of returning them.

In an effort to support Gaston County’s Stay-at-Home order to help prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading in the community, the library is not charging any fines so that patrons do not have to worry about accruing fees for overdue items. They are also offering additional renewals for the items already checked out.

“By continuing to accept returns, we are putting both our citizens and our staff at unnecessary risk by encouraging people to leave their homes for non-essential tasks,” said Library Director Laurel Morris.

County leaders closed the libraries to the public on Tuesday, March 17. Once Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home order is lifted, Gaston County leaders will make a decision on how to responsibly re-open library facilities to the public.

“In the week and a half that we have been closed, around 7,000 items have been returned. Over 23,000 items are still checked out to patrons. We are trying to keep people home.”

Morris says once the library re-opens, staff will address any fines or overdue items. If patrons have questions about returns or any other services, they can contact the main branch of the Gaston County Public Library at 704-868-2164.

“Be safe and we look forward to seeing you all when things resume,” said Morris.