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Appointments no longer needed at library

Times Observer file photo A patron is pictured leaving the Warren Public Library in June. The library said appointments to utilize the facility will no longer be necessary.

By BRIAN FERRY

bferry@timesobserver.com

Those who need or want to go to Warren Public Library won’t need to schedule appointments starting Tuesday.

“After careful consideration, it has been determined that appointments will no longer be necessary at the Warren Public Library beginning Tuesday, April 6,” Director Kelli Knapp said. “We have been diligently planning for a reopening that adheres to guidance from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and all local, state and national guidance, while also responsibly considering the safety of both patrons and staff.”

“We will be monitoring local COVID-19 numbers and will remain open as long as those numbers remain stable,” Knapp said. “We look forward to seeing your smiling faces.”

There will continue to be limitations.

The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

“We will be adding and adjusting hours depending on staffing and local COVID-19 numbers,” Knapp said. “Please see our website — www.warrenlibrary.org — for the most up-to-date hours and information.”

“Warren Public Library will be monitoring local COVID-19 rates,” she said. “All information is subject to change in response to those numbers.”

“Staff will be available to answer the phone at (814) 723-4650, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” she said. “We’re also available by e-mail.”

Only 35 people – 15 percent occupancy – will be allowed in at any one time, Knapp said.

Patrons are asked to limit their stays to under one hour “so that other patrons may enter the library to access our resources,” she said.

Masks and social distancing are required – including for those who have received one or both doses of a COVID vaccine. “Staff is already wearing face coverings at all times,” Knapp said. “Patrons will be expected to comply with the same precautions at all times within the library. If you do not have a mask, we can provide one for you. If you are unable to wear a mask, we will do our best to accommodate you without entry into the building. We have vulnerable staff and patrons and are committed to maintaining a safe environment for both.”

“If you or a member of your household have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, feel sick (even if your symptoms are mild), or have visited a COVID-19 hotspot within the past 14 days, please reschedule your visit for a later date,” she said.

Virtual materials, resources, and programming continue to be available.

“Please enter the library using the Midtown Parking Lot doors,” she said. “The doors located along Market Street will be used only for patrons exiting the building.”

The book drop on the Market Street side is always open. A book drop on the Midtown Lot side will be available inside those entrance doors while the library is open.

“All library materials are being quarantined for 24 hours before they are checked,” Knapp said.

“Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said. “Please visit our front circulation desk to obtain computer access. Due to social distancing restrictions, computer use is self-help only. Due to limited hours and capacity, patrons are limited to one, 60-minute computer visit per day.”

“To help provide Internet access to as many residents as possible… the Warren Public Library, in coordination with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), is offering free, boosted Wi-Fi in the Municipal Parking Lot behind the library,” Knapp said. “Please practice social distancing and be courteous to your fellow patrons when accessing the network. Once you’re in the Municipal Lot, the Wi-Fi connection can be found under the name ‘Homework Hub.’ No password is necessary. We also have a covered bench in front of the library along Market Street to pick up our public Wi-Fi.”

The library is not accepting material donations.

“Our Reference Room remains closed,” Knapp said. “Please continue to call or email our Reference Department with questions.”

Also unavailable are: meeting rooms and study areas; games, toys, and puzzles; newspapers; one-on-one patron assistance that cannot be accomplished while practicing social distancing; in-person programming and events; basement and third floor restrooms; and all water fountains.

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