Cook Memorial Library

The Cook Memorial Library, La Grande, is reopening its doors Oct. 19, 2020, for the first time in several months because the pandemic.

LA GRANDE — Cook Memorial Library patrons will be able to step foot in the library Oct. 19.

It has seven months since the La Grande public library closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. The library will allow people to come in to get a book while still offering digital and distanced services.

“With a wide variety of safety protocols in place, we are confident that we can expand services on a limited basis while keeping both our staff and community healthy and safe,” Library Director Kip Roberson said in a press release. “We recognize that there may be folks in our community who are not able to access our resources digitally, so we felt it was important to offer some in-person browsing and computer access hours to better meet the needs of our community.”

When people enter the library, Roberson said, they will likely notice some changes related to COVID-19. Seating and tables have been moved to storage, and building occupancy remains limited to 20 people. The library is installing occupancy management technology to monitor the number of people in the building. A sign outside will display if someone can enter the building or if they will need to wait outside.

“Maybe at first, because patrons are excited to get back inside the library, the building may reach capacity and patrons may be asked to wait outside,” Roberson said, “but once the novelty of the library being open again wears off, I don’t anticipate patrons having to wait outside.”

The library is limiting browsing for books to 30 minutes. Computer use is available for up to an hour with a reservation. The library will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10-11 a.m. for older adults and those at risk and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for all other patrons. Wednesday hours are from noon to 7:30 p.m. Library take-out(side) will be from 10 a.m. to noon and 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Delivery and pick-up options are also available.

“In spite of the necessary COVID changes, we’ve done our best to re-create a library space that remains inviting and friendly to our patrons,” Roberson said. “We’ve missed seeing and interacting with our patrons these past few months and now that we are reopening, we want everyone to feel as welcome as possible.”

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