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Rockville Centre Library reopens its doors

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After four months of closure to the public, the Rockville Centre Public Library has reopened its doors to patrons. On Monday, the library began offering limited services in the building, including allowing people to browse for books.

“We’re really excited to see people,” Cathy Overton, the library director, said. “It’s really quite nice to see faces again.”

With sneeze guards in place around the service desks and marks on the floor indicating where it is acceptable to stand to maintain physical distance, the library has taken the proper steps to reopen to the public. Staff members and patrons are required to wear masks, and people are asked to limit their time indoors to about 30 minutes. While inside, they can browse for items and check them out, and speak to librarians for book recommendations or to place items on reserve. Rokus, Kindles and some museum passes are also available.

“We’re calling it ‘browse, grab and go’ as we don’t want people to linger,” Overton said. “We’re doing this slowly because we don’t want any setbacks.”

For the past several months, since the library was forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, the library has offered virtual programs including book discussions, author events, yoga and meditation, cooking demonstrations and a craft program. Overton said the response to these programs has been positive, and the library will continue to offer them until it is allowed to have people inside for longer periods of time.

Last month, the library began offering curbside pick-up service, which Overton said has been popular and will still be offered Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Some people prefer not to come inside,” Overton said, “so we’ll continue offering that service.”

Those returning items to the library should put them in one of the book drops; the items will be quarantined for 72 hours, and no fines will be accrued.

Over the coming weeks, Overton said, the library will increase its services. For now, she said, she is happy they can bring people back inside.

“It’s not the same,” she said. “We miss our patrons.”

The library is open for browsing on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.