20200325_bl_libraryclosed2 (copy)

Maggie Tarelli-Falcon looks for a book March 17 at the Bellevue Public Library, the last day it was open. The library reopened to the public Monday at 50% capacity.

The Bellevue Public Library reopened Monday following a three-month COVID-19 pandemic-related closure, but not everything is back to normal just yet.

Starting Monday, the library will be open to the public at 50% capacity from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Every weekday from 9 to 10 a.m. will be reserved for people 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health conditions.

In order to reopen, library Director Julie Dinville said the library issued a few safety measures patrons have to follow.

A few of those limitations include that patrons won’t be able to check out “high-touch” items, such as puzzles and toys. Meeting rooms also won’t be available. Food or drink is not allowed. The youth summer program will remain online.

“Hopefully folks will be understanding,” Dinville said. “We’re all learning just like everyone else through this whole process so well see what works and what doesn’t.”

Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and only stay for up to an hour.

Computer sessions are restricted to 30-minute sessions, and a total of 60 minutes per day. In order to receive technology assistance, patrons must be wearing a mask.

Through seating arrangements, the library will encourage social distancing. It’s also added sanitizing stations.

According to the news release, Bellevue Public Library doesn’t guarantee all items are sanitized.

Dinville said the staff will continue to quarantine returns for 72 hours until directed otherwise.

For those wary about coming inside, the library’s chosen to continue contactless pickups on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinville said the service will otherwise work like normal, with a patron requesting items then picking them up during a scheduled time.

She said if the pickup demand is higher than expected, the library will consider extending that time.

Interlibrary Loan service resumed Monday.

In July, card expirations and blocks for fines when accessing the library’s digital books will also resume.

Dinville said they’ll continue to follow directives issued by local government, meaning the library may close again at some point.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.