All St. Louis County Library branches have reopened with limited capacity and limited services, while still offering curbside pickup for books and materials — but one of the libraries has already closed again due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19.
Starting Friday, June 19, all branches reopened with a number of safety precautions in place, including Grant’s View, Cliff Cave, Weber Road, Meramec Valley and Oak Bend, the libraries in and around South County.
However, the library announced Tuesday morning that the Natural Bridge Branch in North County will be closed temporarily after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The branch will be disinfected prior to reopening, the library said.
Masks are required under the new rules in place since the soft reopening, and the number of people allowed in the building will be enforced to encourage social distancing.
Employees at all SLCL locations are required to follow CDC and St. Louis County safety guidelines including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, limiting prolonged interactions between staff and patrons, installing plexiglass barriers, quarantining returned materials for 72 hours, and following enhanced cleaning procedures.
Visitors are also limited in what they can do. The branches will only be open for computer use, browsing the collection, checking out materials, using the scanner or copier and returns of larger items. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of any illness is requested to stay home.
Hours of operation for all SLCL branches are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Patrons 9 years and older will be required to wear a mask to enter the library. Free masks will be available. Patrons are also asked to stay 6 feet apart, and 6 feet away from employees.
Capacity is limited at each branch to maximize social distancing. Cliff Cave, Weber Road, Meramec Valley and Oak Bend have a limit of 15 people at a time, with eight on the computers. Grant’s View has a limit of 20, with eight on the computers.
Visits will be limited to 60 minutes in the library per patron. Access will be on a first come, first served basis. If a line forms outside, the library requests that visitors keep 6 feet apart.
Computer usage will be limited to 45 minutes, and other than at computer tables, no chairs will be provided for library users.
The library has also installed Plexiglas shields at service points to protect employees and is advising staff to limit interactions. Returned books and materials will be quarantined for 72 hours. The buildings will regularly be disinfected and sanitized. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided, and frequent hand washing will be encouraged.
Additional safety measures are outlined below. Visit www.slcl.org/reopening for more information or call 314-994-3300.
Due dates on all materials have been extended until June 30. Overdue fines will not be charged.
Additional safety measures:
Maximum occupancy is restricted per location
All library usage will be limited to a maximum of 60 minutes.
Limited numbers of computers will be available
Computer usage will be limited to a maximum of 45 minutes.
Other than chairs at computer tables, there will be no seating for patrons.
Copying, scanning, faxing and retrieval of printouts will be performed by employees on behalf of patrons.
Public restroom access will be limited to one patron at a time.
Discovery Zones will remain closed.
In-person History and Genealogy services will be offered by appointment only. Other History and Genealogy services will be offered via email and phone.
Curbside service will continue to be available. This contact-free service allows patrons to reserve and pick up books and movies at all 20 SLCL locations. Learn more.
Book drops at all 20 St. Louis County Library locations reopened to the public on May 26. Patrons may return books, music and movies to the book drops. Larger items such as musical instruments, puzzles, telescopes, Sci-finders kits and binoculars can be returned inside the branch starting June 19.
SLCL will continue providing drive-thru meals, emergency diapers and period products at select branches, including the Weber Road Library.