Owatonna Public Library (OPL) will begin offering browsing and computer appointments starting Monday, Sept. 28.
“OPL staff continue to adapt our services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on the safety of our staff and patrons,” said Library Director Mark Blando. “Keep in mind, an in-person visit to the Library will look and feel different while the need for physical distancing continues.”
Appointments will be offered during the same times OPL offers No-Contact Pickup of Library Materials. This service, and the new appointments, will be scheduled Noon-4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those coming for No-Contact Pickup will not be allowed to stay in the building unless they have also made an appointment.
Browsing and computer appointments must be made in advance and not more than 7 days in advance. One appointment per person per week is allowed. Appointments will begin at the top of the hour and will adhere to a strict end-time of 15 minutes prior to the next hour or sooner. “A full 45 minutes is not guaranteed; if the patron arrives five or ten minutes after the hour, the appointment will still end promptly at 15 minutes prior to the next hour,” Blando commented. Staff will use the final quarter of each hour to clean and sanitize computers and check-out areas.
The number of people in the building will be limited. By order of the Governor, masks will be required. The public must maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other library users and library staff at all times. Staff assistance will be limited to what can be done while maintaining this distance. Ages 16 and younger may not enter without a parent/guardian, and patrons must specify how many people the reservation includes at the time they make it.
Reservations will be taken by a dedicated phone line beginning Sept. 23. OPL staff will announce the number to call on that date. Patrons will leave their name and phone number on the dedicated phone line, and OPL staff will return calls and make reservations on a first-come, first-served basis.