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Boise Public Libraries resumes limited in-person services

Posted at 10:48 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 09:53:13-05

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Public Library is offering limited in-person services again after it had to scale back down in November due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Library staff said they are excited to welcome back guests.

“We know a lot of our community particularly youth, children, some of our elderly residents they really need in-person services, so we’re just really happy that we are able to reopen safely for the community,” said Jessica Dorr, Boise Public’s Director.

Guests will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Admission will be limited.

“Downtown library, we have the ability to have about 50 people safely,” Dorr said. “We’re keeping track of that, so you don’t have to. Depending on the branches is usually between 10 or 15 just because those are small locations. Physical distancing means, unfortunately, having fewer people in the building.”

Computer use policies vary by branch, but users will be capped at 45 minutes per day.

Curbside services have helped bridge the gaps during the closures. Those will still be available, but now during a narrow window of time, you can also browse books and other media in person.

“I’ve been requesting books for a while online now and it’s nice to come in, cruise, and find something that I’m a little more interested in," said Shane McGonigal, a library member.

The main library will offer in-person browsing Monday through Friday from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Browsing at neighborhood branches is only available on Wednesdays, and staff say it's been an honor to safely serve guests during the pandemic.

“Particularly the computer labs and how we saw people using them to apply for jobs, to look for housing, to fill out tax or employment information. We know how critical it is for people to have access to technology,” Dorr said.