Installation of clear screens at the circulation desk is one of the COVID-19 measures taken at the Webb City Public Library.

Webb City Public Library resumes full hours of operation

‘COVID is changing the way we do a lot of things.’ – Library Director Jake Johnson

Last March, a portion of the Webb City Public Library had been redesigned to look bigger and featured new carpet.

“Then we had to close it all down” because of the pandemic, recalls library director Jake Johnson.

Now he’s welcoming everyone back with a resupmtion of regular hours, which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Prior to March 1, the library had been open during a shortened schedule.

Library regulars may notice changes made to reduce the chance of spreading the coronavirus, such as clear barriers at the main desk and a self-checkout station.

“COVID is changing the way we do a lot of things,” says Johnson. “We’re adapting the best we can.”

He stresses that the self-checkout is optional. “It’s something I never thought we’d have to do, but with COVID…”

While he and his staff are updating some book sections and putting up displays highlighting special books to get circulation back up, Johnson says they will still offer curbside service for those who would rather not come in the library.

Another thing to continue that’s been more popular since the pandemic is the online rental store.

On the library’s website, Johnson explains, “We will no longer be quarantining materials as it has been found through multiple independent studies that the virus cannot be contracted from surfaces.”

His main regret is that in-person library programs haven’t resumed yet. “I hope to bring these back by summer so we may have our in-house summer reading programs, however, as always patron and staff safety is my top priority.”

“If we have to,” he says they’re prepared to offer the summer reading program online again.