The wait is finally over. Neill Public Library is open for indoor visits. If I thought I could get on the rooftop to shout the news, I would. We are very excited to see you again.
Your safety remains our top priority. Under Washington’s Safe Start requirements, masks are required for indoor service and 6 feet of physical distance should be maintained at all times. We have extra masks for any adult or child who needs one. In the utmost of caution, building occupancy is initially limited at 10 percent capacity, or 26 patrons at one time. We will evaluate and adjust this metric on a consistent basis as we move toward the 25 percent currently allowed.
Service hours at the library have been modified to include scheduled periods of closure to clean the facility in between public access times. The drinking fountain and restrooms are temporarily closed so please plan for your own comfort. High-touch items such as children’s toys, lounge furniture, study tables and the public courtesy phone have been temporarily removed. Hand sanitizer stations and sanitation wipes are provided at key locations in the library.
You can call (509) 334-3595 to schedule your visit today. We invite you to browse, borrow and use limited computer services for as long as 30 minutes per visit. One visit per day is permitted. Visits can be scheduled as much as two days in advance. A greeter will meet you to welcome you inside. Please have your library card in hand. Lost your library card? We’d be happy to get a new one for you. Don’t have a library card? We can create an account for you over the phone in about three minutes.
The library is open weekdays, Monday through Friday. Indoor service opens at 10 a.m. for patrons who are at high risk for COVID-19 because of preexisting health conditions. General public service times are 4-4:30 p.m., 5-5:30 p.m., and 6-6:30 p.m. We have two self-checkout stations for independent borrowing and two public computer stations for your convenience. Patrons who cannot wear a mask or only want to pick up items on hold should continue to use contactless curbside service between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The library looks a bit different on the inside now. Open floor spaces are wider and more plentiful. Bookshelves have been reorganized for easier browsing. Brightly colored tubs are available to place the items you leaf through, but decide not to borrow. These items are cleaned before being reshelved. A bin full of browsed-but-not-taken books is a welcome sight as it means plenty of exploration and discovery occurred. We’re excited to share with you a new book collection just for middle schoolers. This curated experience is perfect for readers in the sixth through ninth grades. Entertainment and nonfiction DVDs have moved into the Heritage addition to allow more distanced room to browse. New movies and the popular self-holds carts are still conveniently located next to the self-checkout stations and circulation desk.
To maintain physical distance and minimize cross traffic, use the library’s north door by the outdoor patio to enter the building and the south door to exit on to Olsen street. If you park in the middle section of the parking lot, your vehicle will be equal distance from both entrances. Any person requesting an access accommodation is encouraged to notify staff when making an appointment.
We look forward to welcoming you back, inside the library.
Joanna Bailey is the director of Neill Public Library.