The Salina Public Library will reopen its building to the public in about a week and a half.
According to the library, the building will reopen to the public on June 22 with near full service. The transition of reopening plans to the Saline County Health Department has allowed the library to reopen without restricting the number of visitors in the building. The library will be open 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Friday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
Library staff has been working hard to improve patrons’ experience in the library building while it was closed. The public will notice a new layout. DVDs, movies, CDs and games will be found on the east side of the main floor near the Technology Center, while all books and audiobooks are now together on the west side. Youth Services has cleared unneeded shelving.
“Staff has used this time to reorganize the sections of the library to make it easier to browse for what you want,” Melanie Hedgespeth, library director, said. “As you come back to the building, we hope to greet you with a refreshed experience that helps connect you to new stories and information.”
The library has also continued to provide a host of digital services. Access to e-books, audiobooks and more have been available through the library’s website — salinapubliclibrary.org. A new online learning option, Creativebug, which features a wide range of arts and crafts instruction, was added last month.
Summer at the Library has been online to encourage readers this summer. A form on the library’s website allows the public to record the number of books they read and enter weekly drawings. As of June 5, 1,452 books have been read.
A few services will be added back at a later date. Public use of phones, magazines, newspapers, in-person programs and meeting room reservations will be temporarily unavailable. Donations of materials are not being accepted, at this time. Other changes related to COVID-19 mitigation will include shields on service desks and staff wearing masks. The library will be following a disinfection routine throughout the day. Furniture and computers will be spread out to offer social distancing. These changes will be reevaluated each week.
“We are hoping to add back in services as the situation allows,” Hedgespeth said. “In the meantime, we will continue to offer free grab-and-go lunches for youth, in partnership with St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church; interactive discussion on Facebook; and, of course, help via webchat and email. We also will start virtual classes and storytimes in July.”
The library’s Pickup Service, which has served up to 120 patrons each weekday, will expand to offer Saturday hours on June 13 and 20. When the building reopens, the service will continue seven days a week from 1-5 p.m. with pick up available near the Checkout Desk.
“We wanted to continue to offer an option for patrons who are not quite ready to spend a lot of time in the building. Some have also found it an extremely convenient way to get library books and movies,” Hedgespeth said.
Patrons are asked not to visit the library if they are feeling ill. Face masks are recommended and frequent use of hand sanitizer and hand washing are encouraged.