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Nashville Public Library Resumes In-Person Hours, Online Summer Reading Program Continues

Library Director Kelsey Schaepperkoetter sets up for curbside pickup at the Nashville Public Library. (Photo by Charles Guffey).

By Leah Williams

The Nashville Public Library reopened its doors to patrons on Monday, July 8, and its first week back since shuttering this past March has seen several patrons welcoming it back.

“We are just really excited to see everyone again,” Library Director Kelsey Schaepperkoetter said. “We wanted to get back to some sort of normalcy.

While working with the Washington County Health Department, the library implemented a few restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic. There is a maximum of 15 people allowed in the library at one time. If the maximum is reached, patrons will be asked to wait outside. Wearing a mask and sanitizing hands is required, and the most time allowed to spend at the library is 30 minutes.

Materials may be checked out, and other library services may be limited. Computers are allowed but will be available on a first come, first serve basis. The maximum amount of time is 30 minutes.

Restrooms and water fountains are not available at this time. The study room is also closed for the time being.

In June, the library instituted a curbside service, which continues to be available for those who wish to take advantage of the safe way to obtain books and other check-out items from the building. Schaepperkoetter said the service proved to be quite popular with 82 individuals using the method to check things out of the library. In June, there were over 500 materials distributed through the curbside service.

July is shaping up to be another big month for the curbside service. Schaepperkoetter said as of July 13, there have been 432.

The Summer Reading Program went virtual because of health concerns over the virus but it seems many young readers have been still logging in reading time and taking part in the seasonal activities from their own homes. The program has 95 children signed up, and Schaepperkoetter said the minutes read is fast approaching last year’s figures.

“We still have 16 days left, and we are approaching last year,” she said. “We are just about 5,000 minutes away. The Summer Reading Program is going extremely well online.”

Summer program readers who pass certain milestones on the app are then awarded with a trip to the treasure chest.

The Nashville Public Library is also hosting online story time, and Schaepperkoetter said that the library always sees an increase in viewers and other activities once the video has been posted.

Anyone who lives within the Nashville city limits is eligible to to receive a library card for free and take advantage of the many services available.

The library’s current hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (618) 327-3827 or email

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