Two Ouachita Parish Public Library branches reopened to the public with modified hours earlier this week.
The Main Branch (located at 1800 Stubbs Ave. in Monroe) and the Ouachita Valley Branch (located at 601 McMillan Road in West Monroe) will operate under the State Fire Marshal’s Open Safely guidelines. Modified hours are 9 a.m. -6 p.m. Monday–Saturday until further notice.
“Even though our branches were closed to the public, our librarians and staff members were hard at work serving the community virtually these past few weeks,” said Library Director Robin Toms. “Our patrons borrowed thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, movies and more during the stay at home order, and our staff hosted dozens of virtual programs like story time on Facebook Live.”
The library will not charge late fines on items due from March 20–June 30. Book drops are open for patrons to return materials, but there is no rush to return items immediately. Returned items will be quarantined for three days before staff checks them in and reshelves them.
To serve as many patrons as possible throughout the day, the maximum time available to each person in the Library is one hour per day.
To safely serve the public, the Library will operate at 25 percent occupancy, distance tables and chairs, quarantine returned items for three days before reshelving them, install sneeze shield, require staff to wear masks, and clean high touch surfaces.
Patrons are encouraged to download e-books and e-audiobooks on the cloudLibrary and Hoopla apps; designate one member of the household to visit the Library to check out all items for that household, wear masks to protect staff members and other patrons; follow safety guidelines and staff directives; and place items on hold instead of browsing. To place an item on hold, patrons can log in to their online account at www.oplib.org or in the Library’s Stacks app. Additionally, patrons can call the Main Branch (318.327.1490) or Ouachita Valley Branch (318.327.1470) to place items on hold.