The Ouachita Parish Public Library has reopened the Louise Williams, Ollie Burns Memorial, Cpl. J. R. Searcy Memorial and West Ouachita branches to the public on Monday, June 1, and the Anna Meyer, Carver-McDonald, Sterlington Memorial, and West Monroe branches will reopen on Monday, June 8. The Main and Ouachita Valley Branches had previously reopened on May 18. All Library branches 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.
The Library will not charge late fines on items due from March 20 – June 30, 2020. Book drops are open for patrons to return materials, but there is no rush to return items immediately. Returned items will be quarantined for 3 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 3 days before reshelving them,
• Install sneeze shields,
• Require staff to wear masks,
• 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,
• 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 their local branch to place items on hold.
The reopening coincides with the start of the annual summer reading challenge on June 1. Patrons of all ages can register for the summer reading challenge at any open Library branch or online at www.oplib.org. This year’s theme is Imagine Your Story, and the Library will celebrate literature from the fantasy, folk tale, fairy tale, and mythology genres. Participants will receive prizes for reading, while supplies last.
“I encourage everyone to sign up for a Library card and to sign up for the summer reading challenge. Whether you prefer to read print books, e-books or audiobooks, the Library is here for you to borrow your favorite stories,” said Library Director Robin Toms.
About the Ouachita Parish Public Library
The mission of the Library is to advance literacy, inspire lifelong learning, and strengthen our community by serving everyone in Ouachita Parish. The Library serves a diverse community of approximately 160,000 people. The Library has 10 branches throughout the parish, plus a bookmobile, outreach services, and e-services online at www.oplib.org.