Library Reopening FAQ's

Revised as of 6/14/2020

Why the libraries are opening now:

Manatee County has achieved three Important benchmarks for measuring the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Specifically, the State Department of Health has noted that in Manatee County there as been: 

• A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and of COVID-19 like illnesses.
• A downward trajectory of positive cases as a percentage of tests
• The capability to test and treat all patients in healthcare facilities

What have you guys been doing for two months? We’ve been busier than ever, just helping the community in different ways! We’ve created original online story times, crafts, book discussions and more for children and adults.  We have made thousands of wellness calls to shut ins, special needs clients and Veterans.  We have also supported the County’s homeless and feeding initiatives during this difficult time.  Additionally, we have disinfected, made safety a priority for the community and staff and made needed improvements to the libraries.

Why can’t I hang out in the library as long as I want? We're looking forward to the day when all restrictions will be lifted! For now, crowd limitations remain. And to allow as many library lovers to access our facilities, we're asking people to consider others by limiting their time here. We appreciate your consideration and understanding.

What is going on with my hold notifications, something seems off! We modified our due dates and holds notifications in March when the quarantine period began.  There are a lot of background factors involved and we knew it was going to be a little quirky when we turned it back on. We have done our very best to minimize the quirkiness and we have instructed staff to work with you on anything that seems off. The one thing that did not change at all was your place in the holds queue, so you did not lose your place in line.

When will meeting rooms be available?  We know community meeting space is in high demand for many local groups. We hope to make meeting rooms available later this summer and will announce the availability as soon as possible. 

When will programming and storytime begin again? Programming hasn't stopped! But we have had to shift to completely online for now. Look for our summer reading programs which will be featured on our website.  

Can I still use the computer? Will staff help me? Yes, you can use the computer! We have set computer sessions to 1/2 hour per person with no extensions.  Fewer computers are available to protect your health with social distancing. Staff will help within those 6 foot guidelines. We appreciate your consideration and understanding. 

 Where are the toys and puzzles? Things that we usually leave out for everyone to share have been put away for now.  We will put them back out during a later phase. But we do have kits, toys, puzzles, and the tool library available for checkout. We will continue to quarantine these items when they are returned and before we check them out to another customer. 

 When will the library go back to normal? That is hard to say. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines, the Governor’s Executive Order, and Manatee County Board of County Commissioners directives. 

 When are my books due? Currently we are checking out items to be due back July 7th. We will be gradually moving due dates and back to normal. We understand that everyone is not comfortable going out as frequently as they used to, so we've started with a due date that gives our customers a little leeway. 

 Are you requiring customers to wear masks? Yes. 

 Now that the library is open, can I still pick up my holds curbside? No.  Picking up holds and checking out materials will operate as before.  We do encourage the use of self-checks.