In May, the Roseburg Public Library acquired 700 new books. But its doors remained closed.

The library’s been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patrons have had the option of reading books online from an expanded electronic books library, or picking up books at the library’s new Thursday drive-thru service.

But on June 30, the library will open its doors again, Library Director Kris Wiley said.

“I’m excited, looking forward to having our patrons come back into the building,” Wiley said. “I think our drive-up pickup service has been well received and popular, but we’re happy to have them come back in and browse the shelves.”

The hours will be shorter, and just 50 patrons will be allowed inside at a time.

Wiley said when the library is open, it typically averages about 400 patrons visiting per day, with Tuesday being the busiest day.

She said she hopes patrons will be patient because the limits are there to protect their safety and that of the staff and volunteers.

“We really are hoping that people just take their time and perhaps not rush right away, but we understand. We too love to get books into our hands,” she said.

Wiley said the reopening will take place in three phases, with expanding hours in each new phase.

In the first phase, the library will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The library will be closed on the Fourth of July.

Patrons will be limited to one hour in the library, with face masks strongly encouraged.

No volunteers will return in the first phase. The library relies on 50 volunteers, many in groups especially vulnerable to COVID-19, Wiley said.

In the second phase, beginning July 14, the library will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. A limited number of volunteers will begin working during hours when the library is closed.

In the third phase, beginning July 28, the library will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. This is the first phase in which donations will be accepted from the public.

Timelines might be changed depending on the success of each phase. Updates will be available on the library’s Facebook and Instagram pages and the city’s website, cityofroseburg.org.

Children’s programs will still not be available at the library, but the library staff is hosting weekly virtual storytimes on Facebook.

The Ford Room will become available for public use with a cap of 25 people.

Six computers will be available to patrons, who must wear masks and will be limited to one hour per day. Computers in the children’s and teen rooms will not be available.

Lobby restrooms will be closed and water fountains will be turned off.

Even though the library is reopening, patrons who would rather not go inside can continue using the library’s drive-up pickup service. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., patrons can pick up reserved books from the safety of their cars at the library parking lot. The number to call for that service is 541-492-7050.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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