By John Swartz
The Orillia Public Library will reopen Wednesday at 11 a.m. It won’t be full service as before the pandemic, but you will be able to return that pile of books and DVDs you weren’t sure they’d take back without a sideways glance when the OPL only had curbside service. Lucky you, fines are waived until October 1, but don’t let that be an excuse to procrastinate.
You will have to wear a mask while in the library and sanitize your hands on the way in. The latter is important because it’s hard to imagine any other service/business where other people’s hands have been all over the material as is expected in a library. Visits are limited to 30 minutes. All library staff will be wearing masks.
Here is a list of what you can do while in the library:
– Use computers (fewer machines available because of physical distancing), 45 minute session per day.
– Browse collection
– Pick up holds
– Use the catalogue
– Check out items
– Pay fines, return materials
– Get a library card
– Ask questions, get reading recommendations
– Use microfilm machine/VHS Transfer machine (by appointment)
– Visit the fish tank
Here’s a list of what is not available, or can’t do:
– Hang out/gather/sit and read (including newspapers)
– Donate books or buy used books from library bookstore
– Charge devices
– Have food/drinks
– Use meeting rooms or study rooms, Local History Room
– Get an interlibrary loan
– Have an exam proctored
– Use 3D printer & Cricut cutting machine
– Use the family department’s play pit, whirligig and Lego
They don’t want materials borrowed if you aren’t feeling well. Returned items are quarantined for 72 hours (they don’t even touch them for processing until then) before being returned to shelves or loaned again. Staff will have a regular schedule to wipe surfaces during the day and the building will be cleaned nightly.
If you aren’t comfortable visiting you can still call 705-325-2556, or hold an item online and use the curbside service on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)