The Provo City Library at Academy Square will reopen to the public on June 1, but library services will look a little different than they did before COVID-19.
Library officials say they plan to continue some COVID-19 era provisions, even after patrons can come back inside the building.
Changes going forward will include continuing curbside pickup, encouraging library patrons to take safety precautions in the building and possibly offering online library programs.
Community relations coordinator Erika Hill said the library offered a number of virtual events during Utah’s stay home orders, including book clubs, storytimes for kids, ukulele lessons and even a beekeeping class, all taking place over video chat or live stream. Registration for these online programs, Hill said, filled up even faster than when they were in-person.
Hill and her team are thinking about continuing to offer some of these virtual events if they continue to see a demand for them. “Maybe coming to the library was kind of a barrier, but doing it virtually is something that they would really like.”
Hill also said while smaller sized programs will start back up soon, the library will not resume any large group events in the near future.
Library director Gene Nelson said the library will encourage visitors to wear masks, maintain social distance and follow guidelines from Gov. Gary Herbert and Mayor Michelle Kaufusi.
Besides these safety measures, Nelson also said they’re planning on holding “golden hours,” when only senior citizens, who are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 and other illnesses, can come in and use the library while it’s less crowded.
The library is also planning on deploying an outreach van within the next few months, which will take books and computers to Provo residents.
“We want our public, the citizens of Provo, to know that we are there, and we’re going to be available,” Nelson said.