Grand Island library limited opening next week

The Grand Island library book drop will be open on Wednesdays for the next four weeks. as the library gradually re-opens. (KSNB)
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) After its closure over two months ago due to COVID-19, the Grand Island Public Library announces it will be restoring services on a phased and limited basis. The first phase starts Wednesday, May 27 with the reopening of its book drop on the north side of the building. The next phase kicks off on Wednesday, June 3 as a new curbside pickup service for reserved library materials begins on the west side of the building.

This is made possible by bringing back 13.0 FTE of library employees laid off on April 3. Their first day back on the job will be Tuesday, May 26. Among their assignments will be operating the “Imagine Your Story” virtual Summer Reading Program beginning June 1 via the library’s Facebook page. Their assistance is needed with a variety of closed-library routines that had been curtailed during their absence. And while no date has been set for the reopening of the library building or for meeting room use, all library employees will be working to ensure a safe and successful transition. The determination about the reopening of the library building will be made by Mayor Steele.

The book drop schedule will be limited at this time due to necessary precautions to lessen the spread of COVID-19. In the coming weeks the book drop will be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (closing earlier if full) on Wednesdays only: May 27, June 3, June 10 and June 17. Future dates will be announced.

This Wednesday only service will allow the returned items to remain in quarantine for at least 72 hours according to guidelines of the CDC and Northeast Document Conservation Center. After that, library staff will follow guidelines for the safe handling and sanitation of library materials before they are returned to shelves.

By Library Board action, no overdue charges are being assessed through the end of September. Currently checked-out materials have an extended due date of June 15, and may be returned on any of these four book drop days. Additional book drop days will be announced in the near future.

Library patrons with items checked out should not try to sanitize materials before returning them. The only means of returning materials will be through the book drop, and once the drop slot is locked, please do not lay materials on top of or beside the drop. Instead, wait until the next open day to return materials.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday June 3 the library will begin a new curbside pickup service for reserved library materials. Hours of operation will be 9:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday through Friday and 9:30 am – 12:30 pm on Saturday. This service will be available by appointment only, via online booking and phone. The curbside service is for checkout purposes only, and return of materials is available through the book drop. Additional details of this service are still being worked out and will be announced next week.

To control traffic in the drive-through lane on the north side of the building, the pick-up window will remain closed during this time and no date has been given for its reopening.

While the library can’t accept used book donations or assign volunteers at this time, it greatly appreciates the overwhelming encouragement and support received during this closure. The library’s goal remains to reopen in measured phases in a manner that does not jeopardize the health and safety of our employees and the community we serve.

For more information, please contact Library Director Steve Fosselman, 308-385-5333 or stevef@gilibrary.org.