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Spreading knowledge, not coronavirus | Knox County Library takes steps to prevent spread of COVID-19

The library said it will waive overdue fines and extend both check-out limits, loan periods.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Coronavirus concerns are sending people across the world into quarantine and into their homes, where they will have at least two weeks to themselves. It's the perfect time for a good book.

The Knox County Public Library is working with Mayor Glenn Jacobs to help the community get through the COVID-19 pandemic. It plans to continue operating, even as businesses close and events are canceled across the county. 

In response to coronavirus concerns, it will waive overdue fines and extend both check-out limits and loan periods. Patrons of the library will be able to renew their items up to four times, and the library will start to regularly disinfect high-traffic areas.

However, the library will also suspend some of its services to ensure it does not contribute to the spread of the virus. The public will not be able to use its computers or its meeting rooms. Community programming has also been suspended until further notice.

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The library stopped inter-library loans, meaning it is not borrowing from other library systems like the John C. Hodges Library on the UT campus. It also has removed all puzzles, games and toys from public areas. 

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 in Knox County can call a public information hotline at (865) 215-5555, or toll-free at (888) 288-6022. The line is available between Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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The library said that it encourages anyone who feels sick with anything to stay home, where they may have a chance to relax and read. Anyone who wants to catch up on their reading doesn't even need to leave their house; the library has e-reading options available.

Effective immediately, all programs, outreach activities, and meeting room use has been temporarily suspended until further notice. We are still open, however we ask the public to limit contact with...

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