The Library reintroducing some services

| May 15, 2020 1:00 AM

As Governor Brad Little’s four-phase “Idaho Rebounds” plan transitions to Phase 2, things are ramping up at The Library.

Services are gradually being reintroduced and some new services have emerged. Patrons are asking us when we will reopen and when things will be back to normal.

This article will answer some common questions, but to be sure, we should not expect “normal” to mean what it once did in the coming months.

Announcement:

The Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to eliminate all overdue fines on library materials effective immediately. While no new fines were incurred during the closure, we will not be charging fines for overdue materials even when we reopen. Lost and damaged items are another story.

Reopening date:

At this time, we expect to reopen to the public during Phase 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan. If no significant increase in cases and criteria remain met, we plan to reopen with limited services during the week of June 15.

Borrowing materials:

Physical materials — Place a hold (reservation) on materials using the online catalog and pick them up at The Library.

From the catalog, click the “Place Hold” button on the item you want to borrow. Input your library card number and PIN (or EZ username and password if you previously set that up).

Library staff will pull those materials from the shelf and prepare them for you to pick up. No need to check them out we do it for you. Staff will call you to arrange an appointment for no contact curbside pickup.

Digi-tal downloads and streaming — Electronic versions of most physical materials are available in The Digital Library at ebonnerlibrary.org. Access to Wi-Fi is available from the parking lot at both branch libraries (password: librarypatron). Mobile apps are available for many digital services. For assistance, watch a Niche Academy tutorial (green Tutorials tab on the right side of our homepage) or watch how-to videos made by local staff on our YouTube channel. Of course, you can call or email us to walk you through accessing any of our digital materials.

Returning materials:

Drop bins at both branch libraries are now open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for returning library materials. Due dates were pushed back on all materials checked out prior to the closure and no new overdue fines have been incurred. And now, we have done away with overdue fines altogether.

Limited computer use:

Beginning May 26, EBCLD library card holders can schedule an appointment to use a library internet computer for essential communication, such as email, job search, taxes, etc. Two desktop computers will be located in the Sandpoint branch lobby. Patrons with a reservation will be checked in and seated at a computer for a 45-minute duration. No extensions will be permitted. Additional seating will not be available. After the 45-minute session is up for both patrons, they will exit the building. The computer stations will be thoroughly sanitized for 15 minutes and the next reservations can be fulfilled. Reservations will be available starting May 26, Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 4 p.m. by calling 208-263-6930, ext. 1209, and following the phone prompt. Users will need to use sanitizer (provided by The Library) prior to computer use and wear a face covering for the duration of their visit.

Bookmobile & Homebound Services:

Bookmobile browsing will not be available for a while. When those materials have been distributed, we will begin to deliver holds to regular Bookmobile locations. We will not be going to nursing homes or homebound in the foreseeable future. If homebound patrons have someone to pick up items for them they can place holds online for scheduled curbside pickup like other patrons.

Events:

While The Library is closed, all gatherings are suspended. However, we have a full schedule of digital events for kids and teens on our website Events calendar. Check it out at www.ebonnerlibrary.org. And, StoryWalks are open. New titles have just been installed; at Dover City Park enjoy “Mousetronaut” by Mark Kelly and at McNearney Park in Ponderay, experience “Life on Mars” by Jon Agee.

As a public entity, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to provide the best service possible while maintaining the safety of staff and patrons. Not only that, we just really care about all of you. We miss you and look forward to seeing you again. Please understand that reopening The Library will look very different from what you are used to. Everyone has opinions about this pandemic. We are aware that some of our protocols may cause some to bristle. We hope that our patrons understand the basis for such changes — our sincere care and concern for all of you.

“We will do everything we can to open as safely as possible under the circumstances. We respect our patrons, and ask for that respect in return by using face coverings and maintaining at least 6 feet away from each other when we reopen,” said Director Ann Nichols.

In the meantime, stay close to us via social media, where we will share updates from our website — ebonnerlibrary.org. There you can sign up for our newsletter (more updates.) and find out about changes as they happen.

Marcy Timblin is in charge of public relations, marketing & community development for the East Bonner County Library District. She can be reached at 208-208- 208-208-263-6930, ext. 1204.