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As our state moves forward with the Responsible Restart Ohio plans our Library is thrilled to begin welcoming customers back to in-person service.  We have been offering curbside and drive-thru services at many locations for several weeks and will continue to do so.  Using a phased approach, locations will begin reopening over the next several weeks for targeted, in-person services (the complete schedule with details is in this post Expanding Library Service).   
 
Like all businesses and organizations across the state, our Library is adjusting to offering services in a responsible, new way that is in line with the Governor’s directives.  As you return to our libraries please expect: 

  • Limited capacity 
    • The number of computers and devices will be limited and spaced apart 
    • The number of people in a building/space will be limited 
  •  Physical distancing 
    • Staff and customers will be expected to practice physical distancing, remaining 6 feet from others at all times  
  • Wayfinding and other signage indicating new flow through the building to accommodate physical distancing  
  • Service points with protective measures in place like plexiglass barriers  
  • Staff wearing masks 
  • Request for our customers to wear masks 
    • Masks are required per the statewide mask mandate. The exception is for people with medical conditions that would make wearing a mask dangerous.
  • Request for younger kids to visit with supervision from a family member or caregiver to help ensure physical distancing is understood and possible 
  • Hand sanitizer available throughout our buildings  
  • Portions of locations may remain closed to the public 

Please be aware that things will be different when you return.  

The first location to reopen with in-person service will be the first floor of our Main Library.  As of June 15th portions of our first floor of both Main Library buildings will be open for targeted services Mon – Sat from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (drive thru service will be available the same hours). Here’s our current vision for services at Main, which we expect will be mirrored at branches as they begin to re-open.
 
Those visiting the Main Library will find the first floor of our south building accessible from the Walnut Street entrance. The Vine street entrance remains closed.   
 
Services in the atrium of the South building (older building located between 8th and 9th street) are designed for “express use.” Library cards are only needed when checking out materials.  Services include:  

  • First come, first serve express computer sessions with printing available 
    • This is self-service technology access. Those needing limited assistance will be directed to the North building.
  • Print/Copy/Fax/Scan services 
    • Customers will be asked to fill out a form indicating the number of copies, scanning and faxing information needed and staff will copy or scan the items.  
  • Charging station for charging personal devices will be available with a thirty-minute limit 
  • Request materials at a desk on the first floor   
    • Any material housed at the Main Library can be requested.  A staff member will retrieve and check out materials for customers.  
  • Customers can pick up holds in the atrium of the south building (go to the Print/Copy/Fax desk for assistance) or via the drive thru. 
  • Drive thru will continue to offer holds pick up and limited, express pick-up of print outs  
  • Restrooms will be available with one occupant at a time (or one family with children at a time) 
  • Customers not engaged in one of the above services will be asked to exit so that additional customers can enter the building, per limited capacity needs. 
  • No open seating will be available.
  • The maximum length of stay in the atrium will be 30 minutes.

The North Building (newer building located between 9th and Court streets) can be entered off of 9th street and will offer different services which include: 

  • A greeter to help customers get the most from their visit and understand what is needed 
  • First come, first served 1 hour computer sessions with printing available. 
    • Limited technology assistance will be available.  No hands on personal device help.   
    • Those needing more extensive help should ask about the option for scheduling a one-on-one tech appointment for more in-depth assistance. 
    • When we initially reopen and for at least the first week, we will run sessions on a staggered time – 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to allow time for cleaning after use. 
  • While browsing is not intended, customers in the space may stop by the desk on their way out to request children’s materials (adult materials can be checked out in the atrium)  
  • Customers not engaged in one of the above services will be asked to exit so that additional customers can enter the building per limited capacity needs. 
  • No open seating will be available. 
  • The maximum length of stay in the North Building will be 1 hour.

We are thrilled to restart services to our community. As library staff we are committed to open access and being a welcoming and inviting place for all in our community, always prioritizing connecting people with the world of ideas and information. These new procedures are difficult for us and we understand you may feel frustration as well. Please know we are doing our best to balance public health needs and safety with our mission to provide services. As of the week of June 28, many of our staff who were on reduced hours during our closure for in-person service will return to full hours, though approximately 100 staff remain furloughed. This means that some of our services may take a little longer than they had in the past.
 
We ask your help and understanding as we reintroduce in-person service.  We will need it in order to succeed and move forward.  This as a collaborative effort between staff and the community.   
 
As with any plans made during the pandemic, these are subject to change based on new information from health or government officials. We thank you in advance for all your efforts to help us bring services back to the community.  

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