Nacogdoches Library reopens in limited capacity after serving community needs during pandemic

Nacogdoches Library reopens in limited capacity after serving community needs during pandemic

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches Public Library has reopened to guests in a limited capacity after spending several months adjusting its schedule and workflow to meet the needs of the community during the pandemic.

The Judy B. McDonald Public Library in Nacogdoches has re-opened its doors following closure since the onset of COVID-19. Some in-person classes, public events, and just the ability to browse the bookshelves have returned.

Library patrons are taking new rules in stride.

At 10, 12, 2, and 4 visitors are invited to visit their public library.

“As you can see everybody is wearing a mask,” pointed out librarian Mercedes Franks. “You check-in. The library is open by appointment every other hour, so you need to call us.”

And if they’re not too busy in between hourly cleanings walk-ins are allowed.

“As you come in you’ll see that we’ve installed plexiglass for the safety of staff and customers. We have hand sanitizer. The computers, we don’t have as many computers as we had available,” said Franks while walking through the re-designed library.

But there are plenty of computer stations to serve limited numbers.

Right before the launch of the free book, Cerci, offered through the city-wide National Endowment for the Arts Big Read librarian Crystal Hicks summer plans came to a screeching halt.

“We received notice we were going to close.”

Librarians were placed in COVID-19 call centers to answer lots of pandemic questions.

“That’s our expertise here is research and information,” said Hicks who accepted the new duties.

But no pandemic prevented imaginative ways to bring the library into homes.

“Before the end of March we started putting out virtual programs,” explained Hicks.

Go to the library’s YouTube channel and Hicks will be dressed as a fairy to entertain children or her cooking talents help others.

“A learning process for sure,” smiled Hicks.

In-person programs are returning over time.

Big Read events are back on the calendar. And librarians are eager to show that these days libraries are as versatile as the people who run them.

https://www.nactx.us/calendar.aspx?CID=22 is a link to see the library’s calendar of events

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