Wichita libraries opening for in-person service March 8

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Public Library locations will reopen to in-person services on Monday, March 8. The new “Grab and Go” service model will let customers browse materials on shelves and use public computers.

“We know customers are excited to come back and visit their public library,” said Interim Director of Libraries Kristi Dowell. “When we decided to revert to curbside services in November due to rising COVID-19 cases in the community, customers immediately began asking when we would reopen. Now, we have an answer for them.”

The Library’s leadership team wanted to wait to reopen for in-person services until COVID cases were at 5% or fewer in Sedgwick County. Since reaching this benchmark, staff began planning to safely reopen.

Here’s what customers can expect:

  • Customers can browse shelves for materials
  • Public computers will be available at most locations (technology services are currently unavailable at the temporary Evergreen Branch)
  • Print, copy and fax service will be available inside most locations
  • Customers with mobile devices can use Wi-Fi service at designated tables inside most locations
  • Customers can use self-check stations for no-contact materials borrowing (where applicable)
  • Curbside and drive up window service will still be available for ADA accommodation
  • Lounging furniture will be removed to prevent gatherings
  • Meeting rooms, collaboration spaces and the AV Studio (located at the Advanced Learning Library) will remain closed
  • Book-A-Librarian technology assistance is available by appointment only at the Advanced Learning Library
  • The Research Pavilion at the Advanced Learning Library is available by appointment only
  • The Friends of the Library used bookstore will remain closed at this time
  • Reverie Coffee Roasters at the Advanced Learning Library will also remain closed at this time

“It’s not uncommon to have more than 100 people inside the Advanced Learning Library at any given time,” Dowell said. “We had thorough conversations with staff about how we can offer services customers want and need while keeping customer and staff safety in mind.”

Precautions will be in place for the safety of customers and staff, including:

  • Masks or cloth face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times, according to mask ordinances from Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita
  • Six-feet social distancing should be maintained
  • Customers should use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before and after their visit
  • Library staff will clean high-touch surfaces throughout the day, and each public computer will be sanitized between use
  • Capacity limits at each locations

For more information about current operations, visit wichitalibrary.org/covid-19.

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