AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As the library reopens Monday, so does the potential for educational activities, summer reading clubs and internet access to those that may need it.
The announcement came after Amarillo’s Coronavirus Status Level changed to yellow.
Library staff said they believe returning to evening hours will give those working an opportunity to participate in library events.
“Not everybody is on the same schedule, and having a library that’s open fro 9:00 am to 6:00 pm is useful for a lot of people....but if you work a different schedule, you can’t get to our library,” explained Stacy Slopton, public relations coordinator for Amarillo Public Library. “That’s why we’re so happy to be expanding our hours back to normal so people can visit the library on Sunday afternoons and can visit the library in the evenings if that’s more convenient for them.”
Library staff also believe their new hours will help those who rely on the library for internet and WiFi access.
“People are able to come to the library to use their phone, tablet device or one of our computers. People use that service to do important things like schoolwork and job searches, but they also use it to stay connected, and that is important, particularly during these times,” said Clopton.
The library is now open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sunday hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
During these times the library will offer small, in-person programs for children and families.
All programs will be offered in multiple, smaller classes to ensure everyone’s safety.
Programs will also include take-home versions in case the library must close their doors again.
“We’re designing so if we feel like it can be done safely, it can be done indoors and it can be done in person. But if for some reason there’s a change in the numbers where it seems unsafe, they can still do them as take home kits. People can still come tot he library, pick up the kits that include everything they need and find the instructions online,” explained Clopton.
The library says they will transition back to virtual if they feel in-person programs are not safe.
However, the library hopes to offer a hybrid version of their annual Summer Reading Club, with activities you can do in small groups and from home.
Last year, the Amarillo Public Library’s entire summer reading program was held virtually.
“One of the biggest thing we do all year long is our summer reading club,” said Clopton. “Last year that had to be basically entirely virtual, but we will have a summer reading club this year...where school has been so strange for so many families, it will be so important to keep kids reading and active throughout the summer. It will help them make up some of the ground they might have lost this year.”
The theme for this year’s summer reading club is ‘Tales and Tails,’ focusing on stories with pets and animals. The programs includes a partnership with Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare.