By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – After the coronavirus closure, the Delray Beach Public Library has re-opened to the public effective Tuesday, May 21st, with regular hours from 9AM to 5PM, Mondays to Fridays. The library has implemented new procedures to help prevent the risk of spreading coronavirus for the safety of patrons and staff.
“We are thrilled to be returning to the Library and have modified library operations so people can access library materials and computers safely,” stated Karen Ronald, Executive Director for the Delray Beach Public Library. “Staff is committed to supporting students, families, job seekers and small business in this new normal world.”
Guidelines are in place so all can stay well while having access to the building, computers and materials. Library books and other materials should be returned to the external book drop on the parking lot side of the building, then all books and other library materials will be quarantined and disinfected before they are re-shelved and available to check-out again.
Due to social distancing and public capacity guidelines, patrons will not be able to browse the stacks at this time. The Library is offering a next day pick-up service, so patrons may browse the online library catalog to see items that are available and place the titles on hold for pick-up the next day.
Patrons entering the Library to pick-up materials or to use public computers will have a visiting time limit of one hour. At this time Library capacity is limited to forty people. Public computers may be used, but be aware that in keeping with social distancing guidelines, fewer computers will be available and use time will be limited to one hour.
Ms. Ronald also explained, “The Delray Beach Public Library continued to serve our community throughout the time the building was closed. We provide virtual cards, answered reference questions 61 hours a week, highlighted and curated digital resources, and produced and delivered enriched virtual programs.”
“We plan to continue to provide some services virtually. In effect reaching more people in our community who may not choose to come to the Library, but want to take advantage of our services”.
Library cards are once again being issued at the Circulation Desk on the 1st Floor with presentation of a current Florida driver’s license or proof of residence in Delray Beach and a photo id. For those who do not have a library card, the library will continue to offer a free ninety-day virtual library card for all patrons available via Ask Us or Chat with Us on the Library’s website.
It is strongly recommended to wear a face covering when entering the Library. Library staff members will do their best to keep everyone safe by wearing a face mask and/or a face shield as a precaution. There are no room rentals, private study rooms or programming at the Library during this phase, and for now all overdue fines have been suspended.