The Roseburg Public Library staff is excited to reopen beginning Tuesday, June 30. The library is a community space, and we cannot wait to welcome you back.

Patrons will note a number of changes made to comply with state guidelines. The library, with the support of the Library Commission, is phasing in the reopening process to ensure the safety of patrons, staff and volunteers.

The first phase begins June 30 and continues through July 11, and the library will be open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays from 3-8 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except on July 4, the library will be closed).

Visitors will see a sign in front of the building stating a maximum of 50 patrons are allowed in the building at one time and the lobby restrooms are closed. A staff member stationed in the lobby will handle crowd control, answer questions and encourage all to use hand sanitizer before entering the building.

A clear, acrylic panel now wraps around the front desk to provide a layer of protection between staff and patrons who need assistance with obtaining a library card, checkouts, reference inquiries and computer questions. The self-checkout station remains in place for those who prefer contactless service.

Six public computers are available, and all patrons using the computers are required to wear a face mask. Patrons are limited to one hour per day, and staff is available to provide limited assistance. The library is planning a second phase of renovations, which will include remodeling the computer area to allow additional stations that maintain physical distancing guidelines.

Patrons will notice fewer seating options throughout the library in order to comply with physical distancing guidelines. Toys and movable furniture have been removed from the Children’s Room.

The most disappointing change for library staff centers on programming. Youth Services Librarian Aurora Oberg hoped to provide opportunities to meet in city parks throughout the summer. However, the State Library of Oregon issued a recommendation to limit in-person youth programs to 10 participants, which does not align with our goal to serve the entire community.

Instead, Aurora and Dr. Mark Breckenridge film virtual storytimes that are posted on the library’s Facebook page @roseburglibrary. In addition, Aurora has booked a number of special performers who will film their programs for online viewing.

The library did not have programs for adults scheduled this summer and we are waiting to finalize fall events.

The Summer Reading Program continues with reading logs for youth, book reviews for youth and adults, and a Facebook Group for adults. Grab-and-go craft kits will be available in the library and during the drive-through pickup service every Thursday from 3-6 p.m.; details are located on the library’s website, www.roseburgpubliclibrary.org.

Roseburg Public Library relies greatly on the service of about 50 volunteers who have worked closely with staff and the public since the library opened. We are taking a cautious approach to reintegrating volunteers into the workflow, and they will not serve during the library’s open hours at least through August. That, in turn, affects the number of hours the library is open.

The library will assess the reopening process daily, and staff may change any or all of its current plans. Additional details about the process as well as any updates will be posted on the library’s website, Facebook and Instagram profiles.

I appreciate the community’s patience during this difficult time. Thank you for supporting Roseburg Public Library.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library.

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