Warren-Newport Library to reopen July 27
After more than four months away, Warren-Newport Public Library patrons soon will be able to access the Gurnee library again, albeit in a limited capacity, starting Monday.
Executive Director Ryan Livergood said officials hope patrons will come in, quickly take care of their library business -- be that browsing the collection, using a computer or picking up materials they'd placed on hold -- and leave.
"It will be like a grab-and-go service," Livergood said.
Among the most requested services during the shutdown has been computer access, Livergood said.
"It's really important for us to help people bridge the digital divide," Livergood said, adding that several patrons have said they need internet access to apply for unemployment or look for jobs.
Initially, patrons will be able to use library computers for only about 30 minutes at a time. In addition, Livergood said the library has boosted its Wi-Fi hot spots so people can park in the west parking lot and have access to the internet from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. He said the library is working on a program to allow patrons to borrow Wi-Fi networks for home use.
When it opens, the library will be limited to 50 patrons at a time. If capacity is reached, people will be asked to wait outside or come back later.
"In talking to other libraries, that first day is very busy but then it levels off," Livergood said.
Livergood said patrons will be asked to socially distance and wear face masks while in the library. He said he's heard from other libraries that the majority of people do not have an issue with wearing a mask indoors in the interest of safety.
Starting July 27, the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Livergood said the shortened hours will allow the library staff more time to clean the building and train in the proper safety procedures.
The library has been operating a contactless pickup service since early June, which Livergood said will continue.