“We would increase the hours and appointment times from 45 minutes to one hour,” said Hutzel. “We’re starting out slow to see if it all works.”
Under the latest reopening plan, the hours of operation will vary at each of the library’s locations, giving area residents a variety of options, including some nighttime and weekend hours, to take full advantage of library services.
“We’re trying to spread it out,” said Hutzel. “We have an evening in there and we have all these Saturdays.”
The larger branch locations will operate at about 67 percent of their normal business hours, while the smaller branches will operate about at 12 hours each week, Hutzel said.
Dubbed “Library Express,” the new appointment service enables libraries to expand branch access to the public while keeping a priority on the safety of customers and library staff members. Customers with appointments will be free to browse the library collection, check out materials, and use computers to print, copy, scan and fax documents. Customers will also be able to return items to book drops, any time of the day or night.
With the coronavirus pandemic still looming, Hutzel said she is uncertain how many people will actually take advantage of the new appointment service. She believes many people still may not feel fully comfortable venturing out in public places until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.