Public Library reopens May 17 as Summer Reading Program begins

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By ANTHONY FLORES

The Liberty Hill Public Library is preparing to fully reopen on May 17 — the first day of the library’s Summer Reading Program.

“We felt it was time. With Summer Reading coming, it was time to open,” said Library Director Angela Palmer. “We’re still going to open with some precautions. With people getting vaccinated and the staff almost all vaccinated, we feel safer. It’s just time. We don’t want to have to do virtual Summer Reading again. It just doesn’t work as well. All of our programming will be outdoors for the summer.”

As a precaution, patrons of the library will have to follow a few safety regulations.

“People will have to wear a mask inside. We aren’t going to make people mask outdoors,” said Palmer. “We’re following CDC regulations as best as we can. People have to sanitize their hands when they come in. We’re going to limit the number of people and the time they can be inside. We’re limiting between 17 and 25, including the staff and for 30 minutes or less. We’re going to have plexiglass shields up on the desks, and employees will wear masks. We’re making sure we have items everywhere so people can sanitize their hands. We’ll have masks if people need one, too.”

Palmer stresses that this isn’t a partial opening. All services will be available to the public.

“We are going to offer all of our services, like using the computers, and we’re doing curbside service twice a week,” said Palmer. “We kept that because some people like it. Some are still unsure of going into places, and we understand that. It can also help with big families that might not want to get off with all of the kids.”

Palmer and the library will have time reserved for those not comfortable with being in public yet.

“On Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., will be the time just for people that are still vulnerable to COVID and seniors,” said Palmer. “People who feel like that can just come in during that time, and we’ll keep watch and make sure they get their time to browse without people around.”

The feedback from the community is positive so far, and as they begin the reopening process, Palmer asks for understanding as things slowly return to normal.

“We just ask that you be patient with us as we reopen,” laughed Palmer. “We haven’t had people here in a year, so we might be a little rusty. We’re going to be working out some details and make changes where we need as we go along.”

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