Friendswood library reopens to public

By: TJ Aulds
| Published 06/02/2020

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Friendswood TX: The Friendswood public library reopened Monday (6/1/2020) morning, giving residents a chance to stroll the aisles and check out their favorite books once again after being closed since mid March in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Library director Matthew Riley said the library is operating under several restrictions to keep the staff and the community safe. Staff members were all wearing masks and bottles of hand sanitizer were located in several areas around the facility.

Riley said the library was able to keep its drive through open during the closure. The staff served as many as 170 customers in one day through the drive through.

“We’re excited to be able to welcome the community back,” Riley said. “Our numbers on checkouts of print books stayed the same and we were able to bring in a lot more online readers. Those numbers shot up.”

In addition to being able to check out physical books, Riley said the pandemic has broadened the library’s services to include additional online ebooks, audio books and other streaming services.

The staff has “become experts in Zoom meetings,” Riley said.

Many library summer services have been cancelled for this year because of limitations on gatherings and social distancing guidelines in place.

Children’s events, scheduled movie nights and history programs were among the events cancelled, but Riley said the Great Decisions program and the children’s book club will be conducted online.

During phase one of the reopening, library staff is recommending that customers wear masks, maintain social distancing, limit seating to one person at a table, limit time in the library to one hour at a time, among other guidelines posted throughout the building.