The East Parker County Library and the Weatherford Public Library are operating with adjustments while complying with Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order of 25% capacity.
East Parker County Library Director Tracy Lambert Jack said they can allow 10 people in the facility at a time under Abbott’s current guidelines.
“We are starting off slow — focus on check-outs only during this phase, no other regular library services — and have two staff working during our open hours to ensure we adhere to social distancing and 25% occupancy,” Lambert Jack said. “Staff are wearing masks and we have asked patrons to keep their visit brief so everyone who would like to stop in to check-out items can do so without waiting. We are encouraging patrons to wear masks as well — we are well aware that our space is small — but masks are not required. We have hand sanitizer available at the front door and the check-out desks for both staff and patrons.”
The Weatherford Public Library is keeping occupancy below 25% at this time in order to comply with Abbott’s order.
“Our goal is to comply with Gov. Abbott’s order and keep our community and our staff as safe as possible,” Weatherford Public Library Director of Library Services Chris Accardo said. “WPL will continue to adhere to all federal, state and local orders and guidelines as they are issued.”
For those wishing to limit their time inside the building, the WPL has discontinued curbside checkout, but will allow residents to request materials in advance and pick them up at the front desk.
In addition to the 25% occupancy, Abbott’s order says that all museums and libraries must close any hands-on exhibits.
“We have removed all puzzles, legos, stuffed animals and other manipulatives in the children’s section of the library and all the chairs at tables are put up since we are only having check-outs. We did not open our bargain book area for sales this week, since we didn’t really know how this week was going to go, but will almost certainly open that section to the public next week,” Lambert Jack said. “We are ‘quarantining’ all returned books for 72 hours before they are checked in and available for other patrons.”
Accardo said the WPL doesn’t have any hands-on areas that will be required to close.
The East Parker County Library has also limited its hours of operation to 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Because of the reduced hours and because of the need to quarantine the library books, we are not currently accepting donations. We are hoping to begin that in June, along with adding more open hours,” Lambert Jack said. “We will abide by guidelines provided to us by the state, county and city in order to best keep our patrons safe. We want the community to know that we are open, we are offering periodic virtual story times via our Facebook page, and that we will have a summer reading program.”
The WPL is now open to the public 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and will be closed temporarily on Sundays.
The Weatherford Public Library has also been posting video demonstrations and other virtual events — story times and trivia — for residents on its Facebook page and will continue to update the community there, as well as the East Parker County Library. The WPL will publish updates on its website at ci.weatherford.tx.us.