The Homewood Public Library is again open to Homewood residents, but you need to make an appointment.
The library staff has been improvising since March when the library closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Services and programs went online and curbside delivery was implemented.
Now the library’s doors are open to patrons who get a 45-minute appointment to browse through the collection, use computers and take advantage of other services. After patrons leave, the staff cleans the physical spaces, such as computer tables and keyboards.
Although it’s only been open for a few weeks, staff is happy to serve patrons in person, said Colleen Waltman, the library’s director. Everyone in the building is required to wear masks or facial coverings.
“Our daytime slots have been more popular than our evening slots so far,” said Waltman. “We are allowing ‘walk-ins’ on a first come, first served basis based on availability of unfilled appointment times,” she said.
Waltman said “we are only allowing patrons to make one appointment per week and only two weeks out right now. We wanted to start with something we knew we could manage and plan to continue to adjust and increase options as time goes on and COVID-19 numbers stay in check.
“Patron and staff safety are of the utmost priority,” she stressed.
The library staff is continuing its curbside services and both book returns are open, and the library has “new processes and procedures in place for handling those things and we accommodate those who need some variance, such as non-drivers for pick-ups,” she added.
Waltman expects circulation numbers will show an increase.
“Many people browse, so without having been open, check outs were only for those who had placed and received held items. Our browsing appointments are definitely our most popular and an indicator that people want to come in and pick things out themselves. Again, I expect this to only increase with time,” she said.
The library’s board is reviewing the operations and may make changes in the future, but that will depend on the numbers of COVID-19 cases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directives and the status of the Restore Illinois plan, Waltman added.
For more information, or to make an appointment, see the website at homewoodlibrary.org.