Middle GA Regional Library gets clear face masks for deaf, hard of hearing

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Middle Georgia Regional Library is finding ways to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing customers.

Samantha Wilcox — the head of reference for the library — saw the need for the masks when she realized her struggling to communicate with guests.

Jennifer Lautzenheiser — director of the Middle Georgia Regional Library — says they ordered three clear panel masks per staff member. Wearing clear masks is not required but encouraged as a courtesy.

“We care for our patrons and we care for our other staff members and we want them to be able to better communicate,” Lautzenheiser said.

Michael Hokanson — the public information officer with North Central Health District — says masks pose a new barrier for the hard of hearing and the deaf community. He also urges everyone to continue following CDC Guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19.

CDC Guidelines to prevent Covid-19

  • Wear a mask
  • Social distance
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings
  • Wash your hands
  • Frequently clean high touched surfaces

Hokanson says there are creative ways to communicate if a clear face mask is not available. A notepad or a texting tool on your phone can be useful.

“We do want to make sure we are being completely safe,” said Hokanson. “So if individuals are utilizing writing things like notepads or phones that they’re not passing them between each other.”

Lautzenheiser says the clear face masks have received positive responses from the deaf and hard of hearing community. Also, she says the masks can benefit all who walk through the doors.

“A warm welcoming smile is something that everyone enjoys,” said Lautzenheiser. “And so all of our patrons have responded very positively to the masks.”

The library remains open and offers a safe option for guests. If you don’t feel comfortable, the library also offers digital options and curbside pickup.

Visit the library’s website for more information.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *