Turning The Page To A New Chapter

Clifton’s Nellie Pedersen Civic Library reopens to the public Nov. 2 after months of closed doors due to pandemic

CLIFTON – Nowadays, many might read novels on their Kindles, but nothing beats turning the pages of a book in your favorite chair, with cookies and milk on hand. So if you are an old-school lover of books, not having access to your library is a major hardship.

Back on March 18, Clifton’s Nellie Pedersen Civic Library closed its doors to the public amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. So it is good news that the library is opening back up to the public Nov. 2.

“The curve of the number of cases is flattening, and the library has been closed long enough,” Library Director Lewis Stansell said. “We want to get the community back involved by reopening.”

The decision to reopen was made with Clifton Mayor Richard Spitzer and City Secretary Pam Harvey.

During the initial wave of closures, library patrons could still indulge in their favorite pastime of reading, as the library offered curbside pick up since May 4. The whole library inventory, including DVDs and audio books is on the library website to choose from here: http://clifton.biblionix.com/catalog/.

Biblionix is available to library members. And becoming a member is free. Overdrive is a service that offers 15,000 more titles for the library patrons to order or download. New books – from the New York bestsellers list, and Good Reads reviews - are added to the inventory each month.

But not everybody is computer savvy, and prefer to visit the library to browse the shelves for a book of their liking, taking it out, reading the synopsis

To minimize the spread of the virus, and to comply with the Texas Governor’s COVID-19 mandates, entry to the library will be limited to 10 people, to ensure the six feet social distancing is possible. Face coverings will be required, and patrons are required to sanitize their hands with the hand sanitizer provided at the door.

Due to the social distancing requirements, the popular story times for the youngest readers cannot be reinstated at this time. Additionally, children can only visit the library accompanied by a parent or caregiver. The library staff will be cleaning the books and surfaces extra.

“We ask if you are sick or having symptoms of illness, to please not enter the library,” Stansell said.

If you want to request a renewal or if you have any other requests while sick, that is just a phone call or email away. The library’s phone number is 254-675-495.The email address is cliftonlib@cliftontexas.us. Stansell and Assistant Library Director Marshell Allen are happy to assist any way they can.

For those now used to the curbside delivery, and those who want to keep their social distance, the service will continue. People can also return materials at the night drop box located at the south side of the building located at 406 Liveoak, Clifton. Any books or other materials like CD’s or DVD’s returned are quarantined for three days.

Funded through the City of Clifton, grants and donations, the Nellie Pedersen Civic Library has been in operation since 1952, starting at the meeting room at the old City Hall. Initially named the Clifton Centennial Library, it was renamed in 1958 in honor of Mrs. Pedersen, an exceptionally civic minded Clifton resident. Tragically all her seven children died in infancy, but instead of becoming bitter, Mrs. Pedersen turned all her love towards serving her townspeople.

“Throughout the three-quarters of a century that she resided in Clifton, Mrs. Pederson gave unstintingly and unselfishly in service to her community, its projects, and its people, “according to an article in the Clifton Record honoring this special civic servant on her passing on June 26, 1958.

Throughout the three-quarters of a century that she resided in Clifton, Mrs. Pederson gave unstintingly and unselfishly in service to her community, its projects, and its people.

The library has been at the Liveoak location since 2000.Unfortunately, COVID-19 threw a wrench in a 20 year anniversary celebration.

On the library’s Facebook page, people are thanked for their patience and understanding during this difficult and unprecedented time in our nation's history. “Thank you for your continued support of the library and we expect to see you in person very soon.” Stansell and Allen posted. “Can't Wait!!!!!!”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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