SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Tom Green County Library System opened its doors to patrons on Monday after weeks of being closed.
“When you walk in, it doesn’t look like your friendly library experience. It’s really subdued,” said Amy Dennis, Community Relations Coordinator for the Tom Green County Library System.
The Stephens Central Library opened its doors to patrons on Monday, offering “Grab and Go” services, after weeks of allowing only curbside pickup. Curbside pickup is still an option for patrons, who just have to call the library to place their books on hold, then pick them up on the Beauregard side of the building.
At the moment, only 15 people can be in the library’s children’s area, 10 can be on the first floor, and 15 can be on the second floor.
The new modified hours for Stephens Central are Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
“Everybody gets thirty minutes to browse and check out their books. In the morning from 9 to 11 we have hours for high risk patrons, seniors and those with underlying conditions. We want to provide the maximum level of service while maintaining safety standards that will keep our community healthier and safer, and us open longer,” explained Dennis.
The North and West branches will be open from 10:00am to 6:00pm, Tuesday-Friday with hours for high-risk patrons only from 10:00am to 12:00pm; Saturday they will be open 10:00am to 5:00pm, with 10:00am to 12:00pm reserved only for high-risk visitors.
This is Phase 2 of a 3-Phase reopening plan for the library. Patrons are required to remain 6 feet from one another and are encouraged to do self-checkout and wear face masks. Dennis said face masks that were handmade in the library’s Makerspace available for those who need one. She said that since reopening, most people have been understanding of the restrictions in place, and are just excited for a little bit of normalcy during these times.
“It’s been nice to have them come in and be so positive and excited about seeing us. When they leave they say, ‘it was so nice to be here for a minute.’ That’s been so encouraging for us,” added Dennis.
For now, many of the library’s programming is being offered virtually. Patrons are even able to apply for library cards online.
Although they are only offering limited services at this time, Dennis said they are looking forward to offering more services during Phase 3 of their reopening plan, set for June 1st.
“We’re supposed to kick off our summer reading program and we’re kind of missing out on that. We look forward to open and expand. To bring that back will be so nice. We’re so ready for it,” said Dennis.