Area library system continues phased reopening

Michael Smith
A cart of books and a sign announcing curbside service flank the doors at Champion Public Library Tuesday. Southern Oklahoma Library System branches are scheduled to resume limited services Wednesday while following health guidelines.

Branches of the Southern Oklahoma Library System are slowly resuming certain services as businesses cautiously reopen. Limited access to computers and materials is scheduled to begin today but curbside and internet resources are currently the main offerings.

The system started the phased reopening on April 28 when curbside service started at the system’s eight branches. Passport services also resumed at SOLS branches in late April but have been restricted to appointments only.

“While considering the safety of staff and citizens in our communities, we also want to support the community’s well-being by providing the necessary services needed during this time,” said SOLS Executive Director Gail Oehler in a Tuesday statement.

Only five people will be allowed inside an SOLS branch at any time and the first hour of daily operation will be reserved for vulnerable patrons. Guests must sanitize their hands before entry and wear a face covering during their visit.

Computer time will be limited to 30 minutes and social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained. While copy, fax and print services will resume, SOLS library stacks will remain closed and only limited browsing will be available.

“Many people need access to computers to apply for jobs, check the status of unemployment, or to conduct business,” said Oehler. “Our mission is to strengthen our communities with access to information in a safe and clean environment.”

The Ardmore Public Library has been offering curbside checkout services since mid-April but a statement on the APL website says any further resumption of services would be after Memorial Day.