The Houston Public Library will be doing Halloween differently this year, with workshops around Halloween instead of the usual events, due to Covid.
“Usually we have a pumpkin hunt event, and some other activities planned around Halloween but this year due to Covid we cannot do any large events,” said Sara Lewis, the Library Director. The library is instead organizing a mask-making workshop for kids as well as for adults. Library programmer Jill Mackenzie, who is in charge of organizing such events, will be conducting these workshops at the library.
The Crow or Raven Mask Making Workshop will be held in two sessions for kids between the ages of 11 and 15, on Oct. 14 and Oct. 19. The adult workshop will be held on Oct. 18 between noon to four p.m. Entry to these workshops is free of cost however, there are only six spots available for both, the kids as well as adults’ workshop, in order to adhere to social distancing rules.
The library had to close down due to Covid and was able to offer only limited service for a number of months, before they could go back to a partial reopening for in-person browsing and borrowing. The library is now open for very few hours everyday with a complete closure on Sundays.
“People have been pretty good about the timings and everyone seems very understanding. We haven’t had any complaints so far,” said Lewis, adding that people have been following the library’s social distancing and hygiene rules diligently. “We have curbside pickup service for those who don’t want to enter the library however, the drop-off slot for returning books is something we are asking everyone to use. Once the books are dropped off through the slot, we quarantine them for 72 hours before putting them out on the shelves again.”
The library is still offering computer use service without any prior reservations. However, each person is only allowed 45 minutes at a time at the computer and have to vacate it if there is someone else waiting for it. The staff then cleans up in between computer uses.
Lewis said that the library staff is hoping to go be able to add more hours starting November however, she doesn’t think they will go back to their pre-Covid hours.
“Before Covid, we also used to have evening hours when people would come in and sit on computers, play games, but due to Covid we want to avoid that. We won’t be going to our regular hours for a long time,” she said.