12 Austin Public Library branches to reopen Monday; where and how to access them


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dust off your library cards, Austin bookworms: the Austin Public Library will reopen for in-person services at 12 branch locations May 10.

“Libraries are so much more than just books,” said Dana Conners, assistant director at Austin Public Library. “We’re not about books anymore — it’s one of the thins that we offer. But we’re about a place to be, a place for community, a place to learn, a place to grow.”

What branches will reopen?

Branches reopening May 10 are Central, Carver, Hampton Branch at Oak Hill, Manchaca, Milwood, North Village, Old Quarry, Ruiz, Spicewood Springs, St. John, Windsor Park and Yarborough. Beginning June 28, all remaining branches are scheduled to reopen to the public, excluding those undergoing renovations.

Up to 350 guests will be allowed to enter the Central branch at a given time, while other branches will be limited between 20 and 50 people, Conners said.

What in-person services are available?

In-person express services include book and material browsing and checkout, printing and copying services, holds pickups and checkouts as well as public computer and Wi-Fi usage. Staff will also be available to issue new library cards and assist with technology and reference help, per an APL news release.

“We’re calling this phase ‘express services.,’ Conners said, later adding: “The things we’re not going to offer — we’re not going to have programming right now, we’re not going to use our meeting rooms and our study rooms, but we’re going to allow everything else.”

Will curbside services continue?

APL will continue offering curbside pickup and digital resources in addition to in-person services. Fines will resume May 17 for APL users. Items — including adult items and those returned or renewed past the due date — will be subject to accrued fines, per the release.

What safety measures are in place?

Both staff and customers will be required to wear a mask at all times during in-person services. Furniture and computers are spaced at least six feet apart to help encourage social distancing.

Plexiglass has been installed around circulation desks to help separate customers and staff. APL branches have installed bipolar ionization equipment in the building’s HVAC systems to help purify air from allergens, bacteria and viruses.

Each hour, the library will close for the final 15 minutes to sanitize surfaces, per the release. Customers must leave the building during these incremental cleaning periods.

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