All six of the Roanoke County Library branches – Bent Mountain, Glenvar, Hollins, Mount Pleasant, South County and Vinton – are on track to welcoming the public back to its facilities in the fall.
Since March, all of the libraries have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The libraries may have to roll back services again if any staff member is exposed to the virus.
In order to promote safety for library personnel and the public, some services will be limited for the foreseeable future. Masks will be required for entry and if patrons do not have one, a mask will be provided.
Roanoke County Library Marketing Manager Caitlin Gills senses that people are eager to return to the libraries, especially with winter approaching.
“We have been grateful for patrons staying in touch and reminding us of their love for the library. Our patrons have missed us as much as we have missed them, plus they have missed browsing the collection, using the computers and communicating with library staff in person,” she said. “Our virtual programming will continue on our YouTube channel and social media, plus we will soon begin offering socially-distanced, outdoor programs. We will also be able to provide faxing, copying and printing services.”
To help limit the number of patrons, the libraries will be open by reservation Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each day the library will be closed from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for cleaning. For those who do not wish to enter the library, curbside services will be available at certain times.
“We are reopening libraries in order to offer a wider range of services, particularly in regards to public computer and internet access, browsing and in-person reference services,” Gills said. “We feel we have been able to put in place safety protocols in compliance with CDC recommendations so that using the library is as safe as possible.”
Roanoke County native Kevin Barnes has been going to the Glenvar library for years. In addition to the creative classes for his young daughter to enjoy, he also likes the wide selection of books to choose from.
“Everything that I would want in a library is at the Glenvar branch. The employees are always nice and they are willing to go the extra mile to find the answer to your question,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what programs they will be offering to close out the year.”
September was Library Card Sign-up Month.
“If you don’t have a library card or know someone that needs one, now is the time to get one,” Gills noted.
Updates will be regularly posted to the library’s social media outlets and website.