JCLS to Temporarily Close 15 Metro Branches Due to Staffing Shortage

Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) will temporarily close all 15 branches for one week, beginning Monday, January 31, 2022.

The closure is necessary due to staff shortages experienced during the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Jackson County.

Front door service will not be available during the closure. Book drops will be locked and unavailable for returns. Due dates will be extended for one week for any materials due during the closure. Pick-up dates for patrons’ holds will also be extended. As a reminder, JCLS does not charge late fees. 

“The number of positive cases in Jackson County has reached the highest level since the beginning of this pandemic,” said Library Director Kari May. “Unfortunately, the Library does not have the capacity to remain open because of staff shortages. Our hope is that this temporary closure will also help to mitigate the opportunities for this virus to spread.” 

While branches are closed, JCLS’s extensive digital collection is available at jcls.org for remote access to audiobooks, eBooks, digital magazines, streaming movies, and music downloads. JCLS also has an online collection of #StayHome resources at jcls.org/local/stayhome-resources, including information about COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and FAQs. 

Reference support, Digital Services, social services assistance, Outreach to Child Care, At Home Services, and the DART (Direct Access to Resources and Technology) tech van will pause for the week. 

All library programs and events scheduled during the closure, including virtual programs, will be canceled or postponed. A broad collection of recorded programs is available on the JCLS Beyond YouTube channel. 

“Getting our staff healthy and through this peak wave of the Omicron variant is our top priority. The last three weeks have challenged us in unprecedented ways,” said Kari May. “We recognize that libraries play a crucial role in our community, and we look forward to re-opening branches on Monday, February 7.”

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