Phased in opening starts June 15 for Akron main library, branch libraries

STAFF REPORTS

Patrons with the Akron-Summit County Public Libraries will be able to return any items checked out before the pandemic and use some library services, according to information posted Tuesday.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson, the executive director with the Akron-Summit County Public Library, said that the main library and the branches will accept returns starting June 15. 

“Materials will be quarantined for three days and will not be handled again at least until day four,” stated Hickson-Stevenson Tuesday in a social media post. “Our customers currently have more than 300,000 items checked out, so checking them in and getting them shelved will take some time. Please be patient as it will take a minimum of 72 hours for items to be removed from your account. Due dates will be extended to July 15. This change will appear on your record soon.”

Dates are tentative and may change based on guidance from local, state, and federal health officials, she added.

On June 29, the library system will launch outside pickup service at all locations, and drive-up window service at the main library, Hickson-Stevenson said. Holds, including those available at the time of the Llibrary’s closure, will be available for pickup by appointment. Details about this new service will be announced in the near future. Additionally, the library will return to system-wide phone service. Until then, phone service is available by calling 330-643-9103 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Patrons can start accessing the buildings starting July 20, Hickson-Stevenson said.

“This will be done in keeping with limitations on gatherings and on building capacity and with our commitment to make your library experiences as safe as possible,” she said. “Rules for social distancing, safety measures, and sanitizing protocols will be in place. You may continue to use outside pickup and drive-up window services. Returns will be restricted to library book drops.”

In addition, library programs and meeting room reservations have been canceled through July 31, Hickson-Stevenson said. 

“All library employees will be trained on new safety and sanitizing protocols,” Hickson-Stevenson said. “Additionally, staff will be required to check their temperature at the beginning of every shift. They also will be required to wear face coverings while working. The health and safety of our staff and our customers are our top priorities.”