By CRISTINA JANNEY
ELLIS — The Ellis Public Library reopened to the public with limited use Tuesday.
The library had been open by appointment only as a result of COVID-19 precautions.
The library is now moving into its phase 2 reopening plan, said librarian Steve Arthur.
Arthur encourages visitors to wear masks for their safety, but it is not required. Parents with small children are asked to keep them by their side during their visit and not allow them to to roam unsupervised through the library.
The library has reduced its hours to allow time for disinfecting. The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Patrons will be allowed access without appointment but strict observation of social distancing rules will be enforced.
Services that remain temporarily suspended are 1) public computers, 2) public restrooms, 3) copies and faxes, 4) Community Room rental, 5) in-house programming.
At the end of each day, Arthur is disinfecting books and placing them in a three-day quarantine before returning them to the stacks.
One of the reasons the community room is not being rented at this time is because it is being used for the book disinfection and quarantine process.
Arthur said visitors will notice the lounge furniture has been removed from the library. Patrons are asked to select their books and take them home to read.
Arthur said he was itching to restart children's programming at the library, but wanted to error on the side of caution. The summer rocketry program, at this point, has been pushed back to August.
However, Arthur said he was reopening more quickly than he thought would be possible.
He said many patrons took advantage of accessing the library by appointment, and the shutdown did not significantly drop the traffic at the library as a result.
"I know everyone wants to get back to normal, but I don't want to move too fast because we are not sure what this is doing," he said. "I am being cautious. I am optimistic about how everything is going so far."