Nothing can compare to browsing in a quiet space, surrounded by thousands of books, magazines, newspapers and other material in shelves that stand nearly twice as tall as the average person.
For the past year, Morgan Hill residents, looking to check out a good read for a few weeks, have been forced to do so through a computer screen. The process, while efficient, has missed an integral part of the library experience, that feeling of discovery when finding an interesting book buried in a distant corner of a shelf in the back of the room.
But beginning April 19, that experience will return.
The Morgan Hill Library will reopen to in-person browsing, after a year of curbside pickups and limited lobby services. With Santa Clara County now under the Orange Tier of the state’s Covid-19 reopening plan, libraries across the county can reopen at up to 50 percent of capacity.
“It is exciting to welcome patrons back into our library spaces,” said County Librarian Jennifer Weeks. “It has been a challenging year, and we thank our patrons for their patience. Due to the hard work and flexibility of our staff, the district has provided a wide variety of in-person and virtual library services that evolved along with the changing Covid-19 guidelines. We are now looking forward to this next step to serve our communities.”
The library experience has been modified under Covid-19 safety guidelines. Visitors are asked to limit their stay up to one hour, and must be Covid-19 symptom-free, wear a face covering and maintain social distance.
Furniture access will be limited, and computers will be available in a socially distant manner. Hand sanitizer is also available throughout the library, which is located at 660 West Main Ave.
Officials said they used the past year to strengthen the library’s collection as well as offer robust virtual programming.
It added free wi-fi access to its parking lot, as well as printing services, where residents can print documents from home and pick them up at the library. In recent weeks, the library reopened its lobby for patrons to browse a limited selection, pick up holds and access computers.
Virtual bilingual storytelling and other classes and workshops have been popular, and the number of people checking out materials online continues to grow.
With the reopening, the library will still offer contactless curbside service appointments, where a staff member will bring holds to a patron’s vehicle. Appointments can be made online or by calling 408.540.3947.
For information, visit sccld.org/informed.