Milford Public Library to reopen part time

MILFORD — Next week, the Milford Public Library will reopen on a limited basis to those looking to browse the shelves.

The facility will be open to visitors from noon-8 p.m. Monday and from noon-6 p.m. Nov. 6.

“We will be open for browsing for 30 minutes and limited computer use for one hour (per person),” said Ella Wilkerson, the library’s assistant director.

Patrons are not allowed to stay longer than that.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the library will continue to offer its curbside pickup services, by appointment.

“We’re a little bit apprehensive just because we don’t know what to expect,” Ms. Wilkerson said of the reopening. “We’re literally going to take it one week at a time and see how this week goes before we even schedule out the next week.”

She said the installation of Plexiglas at locations where librarians often interact with patrons was the final piece of the puzzle needed to move into this new phase.

COVID-19 safety will continue to be a top priority.

“We will drastically be limiting the number of people who can come in,” Ms. Wilkerson said.

“We will have several greeters at the door just making sure the mask is in place and providing patrons with information about what to expect when they get into the library,” she said. “They will provide anyone coming in with a bracelet, so we can determine the time that they entered the library.”

Although most patrons looking to peruse the shelves will not need to make an appointment, there is one exception.

“With our children’s room, families can come in one at a time by appointment,” Ms. Wilkerson said. “Families will have the room for the full 30 minutes they have an appointment.”

Appointments for the children’s room can be scheduled at bit.ly/34EriEQ or by calling the library at 422-8996.

“Our teen room will remain closed because it’s such a small space,” Ms. Wilkerson said.

Many of the library’s patrons were excited by the news, she said.

“We put it out on social media, and right away, we had a lot of responses to that. The people that are picking up for curbside, they’re all informed of it,” Ms. Wilkerson said. “We’ve given them some extra information, and they’re really excited.”

Although she said some of the staff is “a little bit apprehensive” about reopening given all the uncertainty, Ms. Wilkerson said minimizing the curbside pickup services should make life a bit easier for the librarians.

“It’s actually very time-consuming,” she said of the service. “There’s just so much involved, from the minute a patron requests an item until we take it out to their car. There’s just a lot of work that goes into it. Being open is easier.”

Before the library officially opens to visitors Monday, the Friends of the Milford Library will be giving away books Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will also be selling gifts and other nonbook items at half-price.

Those interested should go to the library’s portico, the covered space overlooking the Riverwalk and the Riverwalk Farmers Market site.