Patrons of the East Grand Forks Campbell Public Library may make an appointment to enter the building to browse and use computers on Mondays, while the library is officially closed to the public.

“We have people who are very happy they can come in when there are very few others in the building,” said Charlotte Helgeson, library director. “Families and seniors are appreciating that cautionary approach to library use.”

Library patrons have been permitted to enter the building Wednesdays and Fridays, if they call ahead, according to Helgeson, noting such use has not been formally announced but passed by word of mouth.

"We’ve been quite busy," she said.

Helgeson indicated she is planning to make an announcement about steps to further reopen the library next week.

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Meanwhile, the library’s Front Door Pick Up service is available to patrons who may request items through the online catalog, by phone at (218) 773-9121 or by email. A staff member will call and set up a time for the patron to pick up books at the library’s front door between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“That has become a regular part of many patrons’ weekly routines,” Helgeson said. “The pick up (service) has not slowed down.”

Since the Grand Forks Public Library building has been closed -- though it, too, offers curbside pick up and online services -- many patrons of that library have been visiting as well.

“We’ve been getting a lot of interest from Grand Forks people,” said Helgeson, noting many have obtained their Campbell Library cards online.

There are many considerations to be made as the East Grand Forks library prepares to open its doors to the public, she said.

“Staff is being trained on everything from how to walk through the building to how to have a conversation with masks and Germ Guards at the front desk,” she said.

“Furniture has been moved; hand sanitizer stands have been added. Signage is all over the place to help direct and remind patrons about being cautious and considerate while in the building,” Helgeson said. “Masks are required everywhere at all times in the building.”

Returned materials are quarantined for three days, and they require extra staff time to maintain, she said. No fines for late materials are being levied at this time.

Staff members are developing procedures for wiping down often-touched surfaces, she said, noting that the employees are “a dedicated crew (who are) willing to learn how best to serve our patrons and remain safe.”