Panola Watchman

CARTHAGE — Officials at Sammy Brown Library in Carthage announced Monday that the library would be closed until further notice beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It’s part of a wider effort from city officials to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

In addition, the city of Carthage has canceled events with 50 or more people at the Carthage Civic Center, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Davis Park Community Center for the next 30 days. All other events at these facilities are asked to follow recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to prevent the spread of the virus.

The city also shut down league play for baseball, softball and soccer at the Carthage Municipal Ballpark until April 4, including practice and games. This affects the Panola County Baseball Association, the Panola County Girls Softball Association and the Carthage Soccer Association.

The library will offer digital checkouts of audio books and e-books through the Overdrive program, an online service that lets library patrons borrow digital content anytime and anywhere.

Library director Kim Turner said Overdrive can be accessed through a link on the library’s website, , or by going directly to . In addition, Overdrive offers a mobile app called Libby.

To use Overdrive, patrons must have their library card number. Their phone number is their password, Turner said. If somebody has trouble finding their library card number, they can call the library at (903) 693-6741, she said.

Though the doors will be closed, library staff will be at the library 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to answer questions over the phone.

Checked-out items may be kept until the library opens up again, Turner said. Patrons also may check anything in through their drive-through drop box at 319 S. Market St. Turner said they will continue to post updates on the library’s Facebook page.

The city said all other functions and operations would continue as normal. Those who would prefer not to go inside City Hall to pay their water bill can use the drive-through or pay online at . Residents can also report problems or concerns by phone or through the city’s website.