Ontario library staff

Library staff members Beulah Carroll, Dorreen Jones and Ontario Community Library Director Darlyne Johnson show off the newly reopened and rearranged library on Thursday. Some of the rearrangement of furniture is in response to social distancing guidelines.

ONTARIO — Book lovers who want to devour a good story now have more options with the reopening of the Ontario Community Library.

Members of the library staff, Dorreen Jones and Beulah Carroll, were joined by Library Director Darlyne Johnson on Thursday to explain what the reopening of the library entails.

Jones and Carroll said that much of what the library will be doing will be done online including the summer reading program, which will be going virtual this year.

As part of its reopening, Ontario Community Library will be partnering with Nyssa Public Library and Emma Humphrey Library in Vale: Anyone who has a library card from any one of those three libraries will be able to check out materials using their cards.

“Anybody in Malheur County with a library card can sign up online or at one of the libraries,” explained Johnson.

She also indicated that there are more than books to be checked out, mentioning the library also has audiobooks and e-books for borrowing as well.

“We’ve been trying to tell people the library is still here,” said Johnson.

During the closure, when the library was closed to the public, curbside pickup made it possible for checked out materials to be obtained safely from the library. This option, which is still available, allowed people to reserve materials online or by phone and pick them up without having to enter the building. Johnson said that the library’s catalog can be browsed online and searched by author or subject, not just title.

Carroll said that the Inter-Library Loan program is also “starting to go again,” albeit “a little slow” starting back up.

Johnson said that while the library reopened to the public on June 2, the hours are shorter than normal.

She said that the computers will also be available for use, but that time will be limited to 30 minutes per user.

Johnson described how all returned materials have to be “quarantined for 24 hours” following their return to the library. She also stated how all surfaces, computers, chairs, tables and anything else that may have been physically touched requires cleaning each night. Johnson also drew attention to the hand sanitizer dispensers that have also become a recent addition to the library.

“We don’t require it, but we have masks available,” said Johnson.

Griffin Hewitt is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4814 or by emailing griffinh@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com.

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