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Leon County Libraries Handing Out Free Masks This Week

A wire basket holds several white face masks individually wrapped in plastic. Each baggie has a piece of paper that reads, "Please wash reusable masks: Before using for the first time. After every use. The basket rests on a counter inside the LeRoy Collins library.
Robbie Gaffney
Leon County libraries are giving out free masks to people who need them.

Leon County Public Libraries are giving away masks for free after the Leon County Commission passed an ordinance requiring people to wear masks inside public buildings.

Inside the LeRoy Collins Library, Stacy Shazel stands near the entrance picking out masks with her wife from a bin on the counter.

"I think it's an awesome thing. I think that's very great because there's a lot of people who can't afford to pay five or 10 dollars for a mask," Shazel says.

Her wife, Jeonna, says she couldn't breathe with the masks they had before.

"But these are the ones we just got we can breathe through them," Stacy says.

She's pointing to the white reusable masks they just got from the library. Director Debra Sears says the free masks are extremely popular:

"They are sort of lightweight. They are very comfortable. They are like a T-shirt fabric."

Two women stand close to one another. They are both wearing fabric face masks. Behind them is a parking lot with trees.
Robbie Gaffney
Jeonna (left) and Stacy (right) Shazel wear the new fabric face masks they picked up from the LeRoy Collins Library.

The County has about 30,000 reusable fabric masks to give away now. Over the next several days, about 230,000 more are expected to come in. Sears says if people don't want to go inside the building to get a mask, they can use curbside pick-up:

"So if you want to, you're welcome to come and drive into the library. Stop at the curbside pick-up signs, call the phone number and staff will bring them out to you at your car."

Masks are available at all Leon County library locations. Each person can take one for themselves and one for each immediate member of their family.

Leon County residents will have to wear masks or face coverings while inside businesses and public buildings under a new rule passed by the County Commission Tuesday.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.