library

A patron looks at the books available at the Sammy Brown Library Tuesday afternoon.

A patron looks at the books available at the Sammy Brown Library Tuesday afternoon.

The Sammy Brown Library re-opened Tuesday for people to browse and choose their own materials again.

“We are going to be requiring social distancing,” Library Director Kim Turner said. “We have measures in place for that. We would encourage people to wear a mask because they are visiting a public space.”

Turner said that safety is their first priority.

“We encourage them (guests) to disinfect their hands before and after their visit, and all the other important social distancing measures,” she said. “I know people are excited about coming back in, and we are excited about having them; we just want to make sure everybody stays safe. Our main goal when we began to open back up was to provide our services, but safety is our first priority. So the staff wear masks and gloves. The front desk has an additional barricade set up to increase the distance that we are interacting with patrons.”

Social distancing extends to the public access computers as well.

“We’ve taken some of those out so that people are not sitting right next to each other,” Turner said. “We added silicone keyboard covers, and then we are changing out the keyboards and mouse after each patron visits, making sure we get those disinfected well.”

Registration for the library’s annual summer reading program opens Wednesday.

“It’s going to be very different from what we’ve done in the past, but we still want to provide for the community — especially for the children in the community with their reading — an opportunity to check out books to read throughout the summer to continue to improve their reading skills and have a good time,” Turner said.

First and foremost, Turner said will be doing away with the summer reading program performers for the summer.

“We will have 100-200 children and adults all crammed back in our children’s area during a normal summer reading performance, and the times right now and the situation right now just don’t allow for that,” Turner said.

People will have to register for storytimes, and the library will be doing them in small groups, Turner said. Art activities will be put in individual bags for kids to do at home.

Prize distributions will also be different. Instead of letting children dig through a treasure box to find their own prize, they will have a prize board that the children will choose from, and then they will be handed the prize.

“We still want to encourage children in their reading pursuits over the summer, so we’re excited about what we are making available,” Turner said.