“The library hasn’t been closed, only our buildings have.”
I’ve repeated this refrain often over the past couple of months when friends and neighbors would ask about our reopening. We’ve been able to offer an impressive amount of services online during this time and it has been heartening to see a large amount of Orange County’s population take advantage of them.
Still, we all know that libraries are perhaps the most beloved of “third places,” those places we like to go that aren’t work or home. People have, understandably, missed the experience of visiting these community spaces. Happily, this week we have started the process of reopening our buildings. But it is important for you to know that for the safety of everyone, the library-going experience will be different for a long while.
Here’s what to expect for the first phase of the reopening:
- Face coverings will be required for all staff and customers.
- Service will be Grab-and-Go. You’ll request materials and staff will retrieve it for you. No lingering or browsing the stacks allowed during this time.
- Service points are equipped with plexiglass to safely separate staff and customers.
- Throughout the facilities you will find hand sanitizer stations.
- Computer stations are distanced 6 feet apart and usage time is limited to one hour.
- All events and classes will be held virtually for the foreseeable future. These are listed on our website calendar, as always.
- Limit your interaction with contactless self check-out or mobile check-out through the cloudLibrary app.
- When materials are returned, they will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the system. That may cause a longer than usual wait time.
The world has come together to work toward a resolution to this pandemic. In that spirit, we ask for your cooperation and patience as Orange County Library System moves toward full operation with the care necessary during this time.