Just when parents thought there would be something to do with children home for two weeks, the state has ordered all public libraries to close until March 29.

A letter sent out by Glenn R. Miller, state deputy secretary and commissioner for libraries, on Friday indicated libraries must follow the same schedule as the Gov. Tom Wolf administration mandated for public schools.

“Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed,” Miller’s letter read.

“Consistent with the Governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all public libraries across Pennsylvania should follow this guidance,” the letter continued. “Since many public libraries are open on weekends and to achieve the maximum in public safety, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries instructs libraries to close for routine, public library services beginning on Saturday, March 14 and remain closed through Sunday, March 29, a period in alignment with school closures.”

Lacey Love, director of Bradford Area Public Library, said the facility will be open today, but closed after that until March 29.

In Port Allegany, the S.W. Smith Memorial Public Library will be closed from today until March 29.

“All library programs, meetings, and events scheduled between March 14-29 are canceled,” said library director, Mary Grace Collier-Kisler. She will be monitoring the library’s email and some patron services from home during the library’s regular business hours.

For anyone with questions, or who needs a book renewed or wants to know their library card number, she can be reached at swsmith@swsmithlibrary.org. “Remember, patrons can access their library accounts, access e-Books and audio books, and online resources by using the links on the library’s Mobile Library Resources page on http://www.swsmithlibrary.org/mobile-library-resources.html. The library’s public WiFi hotspot will remain accessible during this temporary closure,” Collier-Kisler said.

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