Summit County Library branches are open after a year of COVID-19 closures
Patrons can browse shelves and use computers
After a year of curbside service,the Summit County Library has reopened its doors.
The Coalville, Kamas Valley and Kimball Junction branches are now allowing patrons to come in and browse the shelves and office equipment, said Library Director Daniel Compton.
“You can come in and use the computers, the printer, scanner and things like that, which were services we couldn’t provide during the pandemic,” Compton said. “We are still offering curbside pickup, because we know there may be some people who are not totally comfortable coming back into a public space or who haven’t been vaccinated yet, but people are welcome to come inside.”
The branches are open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Compton hopes to extend the hours during the summer.
“We are a little short-staffed at the moment, and we are working on filling those positions,” he said. “Once we do, we will open for longer hours.”
Masks are not required, but the library staff encourages patrons to continue wearing masks for safety, Compton said.
In addition, the libraries have limited computer usage to 60 minutes per day.
“We’ve had to reduce the numbers of computers in each location to ensure social distancing,” he said. “Usually people can access a computer right away, but people can also make reservations.”
The hour time limit is also a good guide for patrons to adhere to on their visits, Compton said.
“We also encourage people who come in to keep their visit to an hour or less if they can, but we know there will be some exceptions, and we will accommodate that,” he said.
The library branches will continue offering Wi-Fi accessibility in outdoor workspaces they set up last year.
“We also boosted up the Wi-Fi signal so people could work in their cars,” he said.
The Summit County Library branches were closed for exactly a year, according to Compton.
“We started doing curbside pickup and hold delivery on May 4, last year, and I remember that because it was ‘Star Wars’ Day,” he said with a laugh. “Then we opened May 3 this year.”
Even though the libraries were closed to the public, staff still accommodated patrons with curbside pickups, Compton said.
“We were very busy during the shutdown, because we have avid library users who came multiple times a week,” he said.
A few days into the pandemic, the Summit County Library also moved all of their storytimes for children to a virtual format.
“We recently stopped doing our online storytimes and programming, because we want to start doing storytimes outside in June,” Compton said. “We will partner with the Bookmobile and go to local parks.”
The in-building, in-person storytimes will hopefully start again in the fall, he said.
“We’re keeping an eye on things, so we’re playing things extra safe right now,” Compton said. “But it’s been great to have people come in again to enjoy that browsing experience. It means so much to us, but also I know the patrons are so excited to be back. It feels like we’re getting closer to getting back to normal again and that’s a relief. So we want to thank everyone for being patient and understanding over the past year.”
For information about in-person services at the Summit County Library branches, visit thesummitcountylibrary.org.
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