Gaston County Makes Move Toward 'Normal'
GASTONIA, N.C. – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Gaston County Government has continued to work to serve the community. Citizens have been able to schedule appointments to conduct any necessary business. It is important as we move forward that our citizens know we are here to support them in whatever way possible. Gaston County’s administration building, 128 W. Main Ave., in Gastonia, will be fully available to citizens for in-person services without an appointment, starting Monday, September 28th.
The Gaston County Public Library is also lifting public access restrictions at the Main Library and several more of its branch libraries beginning Monday. Patrons will be able to enter the facilities for four (4) hours each weekday. GCPL lifted restrictions at the Builders and Creators at Bessemer City (BC@BC) and TECH@Lowell branch libraries on Monday, September 14, as part of a pilot program for reopening the library system.
Gaston County employees will wear face coverings and practice appropriate social distancing and hand sanitizing. The County asks any residents using the libraries, the administration building or any other county facilities to do the same.
“We have done a tremendous job of serving the public throughout COVID, but it is critical that our citizens know we are committed to delivering high-quality services in as seamless a manner as feasible,” County Manager Dr. Kim Eagle said. “We are continuing our commitment to serve our citizens while keeping them, along with our employees, safe.”
Some county facilities will continue to require temperature checks and health questionnaires for employees and visitors, including all Gaston County health department locations, Gaston County’s Department of Social Services and the Gaston County Senior Center in Dallas. The Veterans Services Office, because it serves a clientele that is often high-risk, will remain closed and will continue to serve that community via telephonic and email appointments. The VSO is using a drop box to handle the delivery of documents.
The Main Library on Garrison Boulevard, along with the Belmont, Union Road, and Cherryville branches, will join the other two locations by allowing the public to come into the buildings Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only. All persons entering the building will be asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing protocols.
“We’re very happy to welcome our patrons back into the library,” said Library Director Laurel Morris. “I’m sure they’ve missed us as much as we’ve missed them.”
During their time in the libraries, patrons will be encouraged to select items for check out, make photocopies, send or receive faxes, or use Wi-Fi or computers only. Leisure seating will be removed at all library locations, and Makerspace devices at BC@BC and TECH@Lowell will not be accessible. This is to help discourage gatherings among the patrons and encourage social distancing.
Patrons will be able to freely use the public access computers at the Main Library during the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. timeframe; appointments will be required from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. At the branch library locations, patrons are encouraged to make an appointment due to the limited number of available computers. Curbside Service will be available at the Main Library from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only. The hours may vary at the branch library locations. Patrons can call the library of their choosing for more information or to schedule an appointment.
The Mount Holly, Dallas, and Stanley Branch Libraries will remain closed due to ongoing renovations. The Ferguson Branch Library at Erwin Center will continue to offer Curbside Service only.
For current hours of operation and the services available at these and other library locations, visit www.gastonlibrary.org.