Library Closing Updated 4/17/2020

4/24/2020  As we write this, Kansas is under lockdown until May 3rd. We are making plans for reopening the library, whenever that day comes. Not only will the library look different physically, our operations will too. We are spending this last [we HOPE] week in isolation making plans for serving our patrons while also keeping you, and us, safe. We are also trying to come up with a plan for our Summer Reading program. Please be patient with us, this is new territory for everyone! Right now we are trying to work around social distancing and limited event sizes. Will there be a limit to the number of people who can gather? What will that number be? If you have answers, we’d like to hear from you.

What we do know, at this point, are the guidelines we’ve been given from our regional office and the state office. The draft proposal shows five phases. We are in Phase 1 which is a total shut down. We will be entering Phase 2 as a soft reopening. For example: to start with we would still be closed to the public, but would give ‘curbside’ service for limited hours, say 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Patrons would have to place items on hold, or otherwise let us know what they want, we would pull items from the shelf and have them ready for pick up outside the library doors. And, yes, we are serious. All returned items would have to go into quarantine for at least 72 hours, then be wiped down with a disinfectant before going back on the shelf. There would still be no computer services, no copying or faxing, or anything that involves physically coming in the doors. No donations will be accepted during this phase of reopening; no books, no bubble wrap or shipping envelopes, no plastic bags. How long this phase will last is yet to be determined.This is a fluid situation and can change daily. Please check our website: or follow us on Facebook for the latest information.  The last phase will be to Return to Normal Services.

The online catalog will allow you to place holds from your home library only.  If your home library is Bern or Corning or any other library in the system, and you are used to picking up your holds in Seneca, that will not be an option. As a patron of these other libraries you would only be able to put a hold on items that library owns. At this time there is no statewide courier service between libraries. Before you begin your search, go to the box on the upper right of the search page and change from All Libraries to Seneca Free Library in the drop down menu. If you are on the Advanced Search page, look below the Collection Types area for that box.

We will be using the Community Room as our quarantine area for returned items. So that means there will be no in person programs or meetings at the library until Phase 5, most likely.

Remember all of our digital services are available as well as our FREE curbside wifi. If you have questions about hoopla, Flipster, or Libby just contact us. The drop box is now available. All returned items are kept in quarantine and then sanitized before being returned to the shelves.

REMINDER: If you don’t have a library card, you are now able to self register for a library card online. Self registration allows access only to hoopla {ebooks, audio books, movies} and Flipster {online magazines}. If you want Libby {ebooks and audio books} you will have to email us and we can help walk you through the process. Any patrons that self register at this time will have to use an e-mail address that is not already in the system. These accounts will expire July 31, 2020.

 4/17/2020  The governor has extended the Covid-19 shutdown until Sunday May 3rd. The Library will continue to be closed during that time. * We finally have the library back in order after the carpet replacement. Now we are working on a plan to keep our staff and patrons safe once we are able to open to the public again. Our regional office and the library community in general have all kinds of suggestions. We have to decide what will work best for our community and our situation.  * We are excited to announce that patrons can self register for a temporary library account online. Look for another post on our website for details.

3.24/2020 Nothing has really changed for our patrons. We are still closed. The drop box is still closed and not back in place.  * Inside we are a jumbled mess. Not just because we miss all our patrons, but because the carpet guy is going full steam ahead. * The good thing is nothing has left the building, so we will eventually find it all back and put it in it’s place. We hope. * We’ve been busy cleaning the shelves, removing dust and dirt while they are empty. We plan to rearrange some things, so not everything will go back exactly where it was, and that will take time to work through. * We’ve been advised to quarantine items as they are returned to us. The Community Room will be used for that space, but first we have to clear out everything we moved over there when the carpet guy arrived. * Remember when we said it is like the story “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie”? We meant it. * The best way to reach us now is by email at: * We hope you are all well and are practicing social distancing. We hope you have been able to access our online resources, if you need something to read.

3/23/2020 How are you today? Our world continues to spin out of control, our control. Today’s updates: As of 4:00 pm Tuesday March 24 we will no longer check items in or out. * Library due dates have been extended to May. * We will let you know when we are ready for you to return the items you have checked out. Keep them in a safe place, but remember where that safe place is. * The drop box is still unavailable * Patrons can contact us by email at * We post often on Facebook and Instagram and, as you already know, since you are here, our website. * Thanks for checking in. * Stay safe and wash your hands!


3/20/2020 Our status is that we are now closed until further notice as advised by state and national organizations. *  As we posted yesterday, if you place a HOLD online, we will pull the items you want and check them out to you when you come up to the door. * Right now our drop box is not available. It’s been pulled away from the wall so the carpet layer can put down carpet in that spot. * We’ve added instruction videos to our Facebook page and in another post on our website. * Though we are closed, one or two of us will be at the library to answer the phone, check emails and Facebook messages, and check the HOLDS list, Monday thru Friday 10~4. *

3/19/2020 The hold feature is live again! Here are the facts:
1. You can only place a hold on items we own and that are currently in the library. Please check the status of items you want. If it is in transit or at another library right now, it will not be available until after April 5, at the earliest.
2. Any item checked out right now has a due date extended through April 20. Don’t worry about getting items back right now.
3. Items checked out right now and returned to us will be held in quarantine and won’t be accessible for some time.
4. Items can only be picked up between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays. No Saturday service.
5. Please allow us time to process your request. Don’t come until you have received an email, phone call, or text notifying you that your item is ready.
6. Item(s) will be checked out and brought to the door, no one is allowed into the library. You may need to call 785-336-2377 because we might not see you come up the sidewalk.
7. Wear your catcher’s mitt so you can catch your items when we throw them. Just kidding. But, seriously, don’t breathe on us.
8. Call if you have questions.
9. We miss you and we don’t like this anymore than you do.

3/18/2020 Our courier delivery service has been suspended until April 5. So any holds you have on your account coming from another library will not be arriving until after that date. If your hold is here already, give us a call, we can meet you at the door and get it to you.

Most libraries in our area are closed, so holds will not be filled anyway. But also know that the regional office has changed the due date of items already checked out. Don’t fret about returning items. We don’t charge over due fines.

BREAKING NEWS: The library will close at 8:00 pm this evening, March 17. We will remain closed through March 23 at which time we will reevaluate the situation. The Board of Trustees has made the decision based on information from the State of Kansas and American Library Association.

We know this is inconvenient and we do not take closing lightly.
Items on hold can be picked up. You will need to call us and let us know you are coming and we will meet you at the door.

All of our digital services are available.
We can help get you set up with hoopla, Libby, and Flipster so that you have entertainment in the palm of your hand.
Our WiFi is free and can be accessed from the curb or parking along the east side of the building.
Call us, we want to help you. 336-2377.