The Houston Public Library is planning to re-open with limited hours as of July 2. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Library planning a re-opening as of July 2

It will be a scaled back service with on-site patron limits

Closed to the public since mid-March, the Houston Public Library is planning to re-open July 2 but on a reduced schedule of three days a week.

A limited number of patrons will be allowed inside to adhere to public health guidance of physical distancing.

And it will continue to offer curbside pickup for patrons from Tuesday to Friday between noon and 4 p.m., a measure put into place since the COVID-19 pandemic in order to continue to provide a service for patrons, says library director Sara Lewis.

“Through this curbside service we have circulated a total of 871 physical items to patrons since our closure on March 18. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to pick up or deliver items to a patron’s residence,” she said.

The interlibrary loan service, however, remains unavailable for the time being.

The library also advanced its virtual online reading and lending services for those who had been spending more time at home during the early stages of the pandemic.

“We have also circulated a total of 780 eBooks and digital audiobooks since our closure. We committed an additional $193 to the BC Libraries Cooperative to increase the provincial collection and reduce wait times for all patrons,” said Lewis.

Also being examined is having the library purchase its on eBook and audio collection specifically for the use of its patrons.

In addition to curbside written material service, craft kits are also available weekly for children.

Young readers will also have a chance to take part in a modified summer reading program.

“Kits will be prepared for children to take home each week and much of the content will be online,” said Lewis.

“Children who do not have access to the internet or devices will be able to come to the library to access the online side of the program.”

Meanwhile, the library once again will benefit from its annual District of Houston grant.

The District of Houston council two weeks ago approved quarterly payments amounting to $122,000 for 2020.

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