Flint Public Library announced on July 22 that they are beginning a phased re-opening at Courtland Center.
“When we closed in March for renovation, we had no idea that COVID was lurking around the corner,” said Library Director Kay Schwartz.
“We had hoped to open our temporary location in May,” Schwartz added. “However, given the events of the past few months, we have had to delay until our move was complete and we could open safely.”
The library will begin a limited re-opening at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 23. Starting on this date, the library will welcome patrons who want to browse and check out books or DVDs. Other services, such as computer access, will be added in later phases of the re-opening. Patrons can visit the library on Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5:30pm. The library will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.
“Re-opening is a complex process,” notes Schwartz. “We want to keep the public and staff safe, while complying with the governor’s direction. We all know that the COVID situation is dynamic. We’ve planned our re-opening so that we can avoid backtracking, but in these times, we’ll have to stay flexible in case circumstances change!”
Safety is a priority in the re-opening.
“We’re asking people to follow the same guidelines that they do in other public spaces. This includes the use of face coverings, hand sanitizer and social distancing. We’ll be handing each visitor a brochure that explains our safety procedures. We will also need to manage occupancy so that we don’t exceed our allowable limit. To that end, we’re asking patrons to limit their visit to one hour or less. This will allow more people to start using library services.”
Some people might still be uncomfortable visiting the library. Fortunately, there is an option to minimize contact by using “holds.” Patrons can browse the online catalog and place items on hold. Once the materials are ready, they can pick up the held items from the lobby, check the items out and leave promptly. Holds can also be placed over the phone during business hours.
The library also offers downloads and a portal to other services via the website fpl.info. All that’s required is a library card. Patrons can go the library to get a card during business hours, or they can apply for an E-Card online.
“We instituted an E-Card service about 18 months ago,” says Director Kay Schwartz. “We recently expanded this service to anyone in Genesee County through September 30, especially to help children with summer reading. By completing the online application, patrons can instantly receive a number that allows them to download books, audiobooks, music, magazines and more. We have seen a surge in E-Card usage over the last few months. We invite people to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The library will post updates about the re-opening on its website, fpl.info. This website will be updated regularly as services change.
“We know that our patrons are still looking for computer access, genealogy resources and much more. We will phase in additional services slowly and safely.”
Checked-out library items can be returned to three outdoor drop boxes: the usual driveup box at Crapo Street, a box near the main Courtland Center mall entrance, and one behind Courtland Center at the movie theater entrance. During business hours, books can also be returned to a drop box inside the library.
Flint Public Library’s temporary location is at Courtland Center (4190 E. Court St., Burton). Visitors should use the main entrance (Entrance A) and then look for the Library signage just east of Sloan Museum @ Courtland. Plenty of free parking is available, and the mall is served by the #10 bus (Richfield Rd.).