By Landan Kuhlmann
If area residents have been wanting to again experience the quietness of a library, that option will soon be accessible to them in a limited capacity.
Fort Bend County Libraries announced Monday that three area libraries – the George Memorial Library in Richmond, the Missouri City Branch Library and the Sienna Branch Library – will be among those opened for grab-and-go services beginning Thursday as the library system enters Phase 2 of reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Phase 2, patrons will be able to do the following in the three local grab-and-go libraries:
- Browse first-floor collections
- Complete a library card application in person to apply for or renew your library card or update your address
- Pay fines/fees of $5 and up with a credit card
- Make copies, scan or fax documents
- Use a computer and print – by reservation only – for two-hour sessions once per day. Computers will be spaced to maintain social distancing
- Ask questions at the Reference Desk
- Gain access to mobile WiFi hotspots and Launchpads
A limited number of guests will be allowed inside on the first floor of each location in order to maintain social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC, according to the library system. All community members must wear a mask while inside and will undergo a health screening prior to entering the library.
The system had initially closed March 20 and began running curbside services May 4.
“We miss all of our patrons, and we know how important our libraries are to their daily lives,” Library Director Clara Russell said in a news release. “We want to return to normal service as soon as possible, but this needs to happen in phases so that we can keep everyone safe and healthy.”
Russell said Fort Bend County Libraries has no set date for the next phase of reopening as it is contingent upon the state of the local communities and advice from officials. Curbside services will run Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at all open locations. On Saturdays, it will go from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for all locations except those in Needville, Stafford and Fulshear/Simonton, which will close at 1 p.m.
“FBCL serves a large number of residents throughout the county, so we are being very thoughtful and deliberate with our re-opening plans,” Russell said. “These are our friends and neighbors, and we’re going to do everything in our power to expand library services while keeping our staff and communities safe.”
For more information on Fort Bend County Libraries’ phased reopening, community members can visit fortbend.lib.tx.us or call the library system’s communications office at 281-633-4734.