The Andalusia Public Library will reopen its doors to the public on Monday, October 5, for the first time since the pandemic began, but with new safety rules in place.
Mona Simon, who took over as interim director of APL when Karin Taylor retired this summer, said the library staff has been providing curbside service for its patrons for months but looks forward to having them back in the building. The following guidelines will be in place:
• Patrons must wear masks, which will be provided for those who do not have one.
• Social distancing will be observed, with only 15 people allowed in the library at one time.
• To allow access to all, patrons will be asked to limit their visits to 30 minutes.
• The computer lab will be limited to eight stations while social distancing rules are in effect. Patrons are asked to reserve computer time, which is limited to 30 minutes per patron, by calling 222-6612.
• Patrons are asked to use the front and side (handicapped ramp) entrances. The back door will remain locked as the area is reserved for continued curbside service for those not yet comfortable entering the library.
• The Children’s Library and the Dixon Room will remain closed for now, as gatherings are still limited by Gov. Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home Order.
• The reference and genealogy room also will remain closed for now.
Simon said that the library staff is reserving the first hour of each weekday, from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m., for senior citizens. The library will be open to the general public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Simon said the library staff, assisted by City of Andalusia employees in the Planning and Development division, has used the time the facility has been closed to the public to do cleaning, painting, upgrades and reorganization. Just this week, the carpet is being cleaned throughout the facility. Safety shields and barriers have been added to each desk area for the protection of staff members during the pandemic, she said.
Hand sanitizing stations also are in place for the convenience of patrons and staff members, she said.
Simon said the Interlibrary Loan Librarian (ILL) has returned all borrowed books from lending libraries and is opening ILL for requests.
“This is a very important function,” Simon said. “Patrons requesting older or specialized books the library does not have the funds or room for can get them through Interlibrary loan.”