I am a regular library user myself, as well as a former library volunteer. I consider our Library to be one of the best features of our wonderful city.
When Covid hit, we closed the library for only ten weeks in the spring of 2020. But for many library patrons, including myself, that time felt like an eternity.
When we reopened our doors, there were our regulars, so happy to see us, as our wonderful staff was happy to welcome them back. It was a powerful reminder that public libraries are the heartbeat of a community. They really do transform lives and communities by providing resources for lifelong learning.
Following the reopening, library staff followed CDC protocols, which meant the library’s operating hours remained limited due to the staff’s emphasis on the safe processing of returned materials. (We spent a crazy amount of staff time “staging” and tracking returned materials to reduce Covid risk.)
Finally, in May of this year, with the relaxation of Covid-19 mandates, the Library Services Director presented Council with a plan to gradually expand the library’s hours of operation:
• Immediately extend the closing times on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 8 p.m.
• Consistently open at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and lengthen Saturday operating hours to 5 p.m.