Friday, September 30, 2022

Williamsburg Regional Library announces plans to reopen

The Williamsburg Library (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)
The Williamsburg Library. (WYDaily file/Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)

After months of being closed, the Williamsburg Regional Library has finally made plans to reopen.

Library officials announced Tuesday they would reopen on a limited schedule starting July 7.

“The library staff is looking forward to welcoming everyone back into the library buildings,” said Betsy Fowler, library director, in a news release. 

The library will be operating under shorter hours to focus on sanitizing the facilities. This means hand sanitizers at each entrance and guests will be reminded to wash their hands. The library will also maintain an intensified cleaning regime and quarantine returned items for three to five days. 

The new library hours will be:

  • Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, closed

The number of guests in each library facility will be limited and curbside pick-up of all materials will still be available. Employees and staff are required to wear masks and follow social distancing protocol when inside the building. There will be enhanced sanitation practices implemented as well.

Entrances to the library will be limited to monitor occupancy counts. At the Williamsburg Library, Scotland Street and Theatre entrances will be closed and guests are asked to use the main entrance on City Square.

Library facilities will also feature a new self-checkout system where users can scan their library card and then place a stack of items on the check-out pad. This new system does not require guests to check out each item individually but rather registers many items at one time. 

There will also be a new self-pick-up system for items that have been placed on hold. Guests should head to the hold pick-up area, find their items and then check them out with the new self-checkout system.

Computer stations will now be rearranged in accordance with social distancing guidelines and laptops will be made available for use within the library. Seating and study tables have also been rearranged to promote a six-foot distance between guests.

“The Williamsburg Library building also benefited from some sprucing up when the spaces were being rearranged for social distancing,” Fowler said.  “We are excited about the updated look, the new upgrades, and seeing everyone very soon.”

Meeting rooms and play areas will not be operating when the library reopens. The library is also delaying the full opening of the Kiwanis Kids Idea Studio, which had been redone in March. Fowler said the library plans to host an official grand opening ceremony once families and children are able to safely participate and enjoy the space.

The library will also not be hosting any programming inside the building and will maintain virtual programs for guests. 

Material donations will also not be accepted at this time. 

The library will also continue to maintain the new WRL To-Go program that was implemented in May which allows guests to order items and pick them up outside the facility based on appointment.

The new operation plans could change based on information from local, state and federal officials. 

For more information, visit the Williamsburg Regional Library online.

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Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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