BOONE — The Watauga County Public Library reopened to the public with safety restrictions on June 15.
Curbside pickup of materials and printed documents will still be offered during operational hours and is recommended especially for high-risk persons.
The Western Watauga Branch Library will continue with curbside service and will not open to the public at this time.
At the Watauga Public Library, the following protocols will be in place:
The library will use masks and request those entering to wear one to protect staff and others. The library can provide a mask to you while supplies last.
- The library is limiting the number of people in the building at one time.
- Folks wanting to enter once the limit is reached may wait outside six feet apart along the sidewalk.
- Patrons are asked to limit their visit to approximately 20 minutes.
- Seating, water fountains and study rooms are closed. Children’s toys, games, stuffed animals and backpacks are unavailable. Bathrooms are open but cleaned once a day.
- A self-check station is in the Youth Services area; an additional self-check station will be available in the Adult Services area. Instructions are provided at each terminal.
- A table will be set up outside the entrance for Summer Reading registration and easy pickup of reading logs and Take-it/Make-it bags. Families only wanting to pick up reading logs will need to wait in a separate line six feet apart in front of the table. Families may also register inside the library.
- The circulation desk will have no more than two staff members; they can check out items for you, take fines and fees (no-touch method) and issue library cards.
- The library encourages those wanting a library card to fill out an online form located in the lower left corner of its “Search catalog” page. The URL is https://appalachian.nccardinal.org/eg/opac/register . Your photo ID can be emailed to
- email@example.com. You will be notified with your card number and can pick up your physical card at a later time.
- Watauga County Schools students may use their student ID to check out up to 10 books/audiobooks with no late fines.
Staff members will be working hard to ensure a safe experience for visitors:
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the library.
- Pink “stand here” signs are spaced six feet apart on carpeting to guide visitors.
- Follow one-way arrows and signage throughout the building to minimize close contact with others.
- Computers will be available by appointment only. There will be one stand-alone computer for quick access (10 min.)
- If you use equipment such as the online catalog, printer, copier, self-check, etc., use hand sanitizer beforehand and afterwards.
- Call ahead if you need help placing a hold or would like the library to pull items for you.
- Call ahead to confirm items are ready for pickup or for any additional information that will make your visit go more smoothly and speedily.
For the Watauga County Public Library, curbside instructions are as follows:
- Put books on hold using your library card through our catalog.
- Wait for notification, allow at least 48 hours — the library will call you when they’re ready.
- Note that the amount of time may be longer than usual.
- Park in front of the library.
- Call the library with your last name, the last four numbers of your library card, and your vehicle description. Give staff a few minutes to check out materials.
- Staff will leave the items on the large table in front of the library.
Library material may be returned in the book drop behind the library. Any items that were checked out while the library was closed and during the month of June are due by June 30 unless you have a July due date.
“Please be patient as our library staff catch up with holds and library business while ensuring that we are using safety protocols,” the library stated.
Items put on hold may take longer than usual due to quarantining. There will be no meeting room reservations through August and for the foreseeable future.
Below is a list of other services currently offered. Call to inquire about availability of any service you are interested in.
The Watauga County Public Library is located at 140 Queen St., Boone, and is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 828-264-8784.
The Western Watauga Branch Library is located at 1085 Old U.S. 421, Sugar Grove. Curbside hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For more info, call 828-297-5515.
Visit www.arlibrary.org/watauga to find library information and services online.