By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — As Indiana enters Stage 4 of Governor Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan next week, Warsaw Community Public Library will reopen its doors to the public beginning Monday, June 15.
The Warsaw Community Public Library Board of Trustees met on Monday, June 8, through a combination of in-person and virtual methods, to discuss the next steps library staff will be taking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 17, the library has been closed to the public. During that time, the library has offered digital and virtual services, including available WiFi in the library’s parking lot. Staff have also been offering curbside services to patrons.
Starting on June 15, the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The first hour the library is open from Mondays through Fridays is designated for individuals who are ages 60 and older, as well as for those who are at-risk due to an underlying health condition.
“That’s what we’re asking everyone do to keep social distancing,” said WCPL Library Director Ann Zydek. “The big thing that we’re saying: come get stuff at the library, but not to stay at this point. We would love you to, but come grab what you would like and go.”
During Stage 4 of the “Back on Track Indiana” plan, which is in effect from June 14 to July 3, the library will have several restrictions and safeguards in effect to promote social distancing.
Patrons will be limited to 30 minutes of library time for each visit, with occupancy of the building limited to approximately 35 patrons at one time. The library will continue to offer curbside services during Stage 4. No in-person, physical programming will take place. There will also be a limited number of adult computers for patrons to use, with no youth computers available for use at this time. Sneeze guards will also be installed throughout the library.
The library’s summer reading program is in full swing via online registration, but participants will not be able to pick up any prizes or drawing tickets until July.
“You and your staff have done an amazing job with getting through this pandemic and all the troubles and challenges,” said WCPL Board President Chris Merrill to Zydek.
In other business, Zydek recommended that the board of trustees not move forward with the dry fire protection system project this year.
“After having explored possible ways to financially proceed with our dry fire system, I’m making this recommendation due to the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on our funding resources,” said Zydek. “At this point, we should not move forward with any of the bids that were presented.”
Facilities Manager Bruce Hively elaborated on specifics with the library’s sprinkler system.
“We’re required to fill the system every two and five years,” said Hively. “There’s two particular tests. Obviously while going through this process, we did those tests. Unless the system were to break down, we shouldn’t have a problem. We don’t have to fill it to do testing for the next year and a half. There was no problem during any of the tests.”
The board’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. Monday, July 13.