Starting this morning (Wednesday, June 3), the Bellaire Library will add limited in-person browsing and computer use to its curbside pickup service, just in time for the summer reading season.
“The governor’s executive order on reopening libraries caught us by surprise,” said Head Librarian Mary Cohrs, “and since we were completing our project of inventorying the library at the time of the announcement, we just shifted gears from summer reading planning to getting ready to open.”
The library, 5111 Jessamine St., will be limited to 25 percent capacity — about 25 patrons at a time — when it opens at 10 a.m., with the door monitored to control flow. Plexiglass shields will protect patrons and staff, and face coverings are required.
Tables and chairs have been arranged to accommodate physical distancing, and plans are in place to disinfect surfaces and collect money safely.
No programs or meetings will be scheduled at this time, and computer time will be limited to one hour.
Beginning next Monday (June 8), 9-10 a.m. has been set aside for exclusive use by senior adults, 50 and older.
Cohrs said the library plans to launch “some type” of summer reading program — a tradition at the library for nearly 70 years — sometime after June 15. The theme for the program this year is “Imagine Your Story,” highlighting folk and fairy tales and fantasy stories. That could include more virtual programming from Youth Services Librarian Terra Thompson, who has been conducting virtual storytimes on social media.
The library also has the lists for the latest Houston ISD “Name That Book” program and summer reading assignments for area schools available at the front circulation desk.
Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, for both in-person and curbside service. Books may be put on hold by calling 713-662-8160. The book drop for returns, at the front of the library, is available 24/7.
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“This has been a challenging summer for us,” said Cohrs, “but we are committed to encouraging reading by all ages.”