Tallapoosa Library opens to browsing

Karen Boling, manager of the Tallapoosa Public Library, takes a request from a patron on Tuesday. The library opened to the public for browsing Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but only does curbside service Tuesdays. SEE STORY ON PAGE A3.

Tallapoosa Library opens to browsing

The Tallapoosa Public Library once again began to welcome its patrons into the building this week.

On Monday, with the city’s blessing, the library opened its doors to the public for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, said library Manager Karen Boling.

“We’ve been doing curbside for several months,” Boling said.

In other words, a library card holder could request a book online or by phone and pick it up from the library without ever setting foot inside the building, she said. That has kept the staff fairly busy, but they did miss the face-to-face contact with their patrons, Boling said.

There are still some restrictions to help keep people safe during the pandemic. Only 10 people are allowed in the building at one time, and they will be required to wear a mask, she said. Additionally, the library has 20 computers, but only four will be available for use and users will be limited to 45 minutes a day, Boling said.

The space in the library has changed, too. Around the checkout desk, Plexiglas shields separate library staff from the patrons and hand sanitizer is placed on both sides of the shields.

The library has not opened up any on-site children’s programs yet, Boling said.

There are some virtual programs on the library’s Facebook page and the library will participate in Beanstack, a virtual summer reading program hosted on the West Georgia Regional Library System’s website, Boling said. They will have some summer activities for children, but those will probably be held outside, she added.

So far, the library hasn’t had many visitors, Boling said.

“People are still not very aware,” she said.

They’re excited to potentially see their patrons again.

“We’ve been here; we’ve been working,” Boling said. “But we’re excited about people coming in.”

The new hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday, the library will continue to offer curbside pick-up from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will not open the building to the public. On Saturday, the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Tallapoosa library is one of 19 libraries in the West Georgia Regional Library System, headquartered in Carrollton. The system covers five counties including Haralson County, said Luke Brown, marketing and outreach manager for the system. All three Haralson County libraries in Bremen, Buchanan and Tallapoosa are members of the system, Brown said.

With the Tallapoosa library’s opening, all 19 of the libraries in the system are now open to the public, he said.