Boyce Ditto Public Library and Mineral Wells City Gym will partially reopen facilities Monday following their closures two months ago in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Pending any changes that could come Monday from Gov. Greg Abbott, following are the plans for the library and gym pending further notice:
City gym will reopen the weight room and racquetball courts Monday. The basketball court, showers and locker rooms will be closed. The front restrooms will be available.
City Gym hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.
No more than 25 people will be allowed in the weight room at one time. Those working out must wear full-fingered gloves and masks and must wipe down equipment after use. Sanitizing stations have been to the weight room.
As for city parks, they also remain partially open. For instance, playground equipment is available for use at West City Park and Plastic Park. The skatepark and tennis courts at West City Park are open to no more than four people playing at the same time. The tennis courts reopened May 1.
Basketball goals at both parks will remain off for now, and the sand volleyball court net at West City Park will also remain down.
There continues to be no reservations taken for the West City Park shelter and gazebo. The ball fields also remain closed.
The Activity Center also remains closed with no reservations currently accepted.
Located at 2300 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, the library staff began providing porch pick up service this week and will allow limited access to services and materials inside beginning Monday.
Library Manager Louanne Noel provided the following Q&A for library patrons:
1. Have we modified our service hours from what they were last year?
We regret deeply that we will need to modify service hours due to staff shortages and need to reduce spending. Our hours for reopening to porch side service are: 9-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. weekdays. As we transition, we will continue to evaluate hours and will attempt to have more family-friendly evening hours one night per week.
2. Will we continue porch side service while having in-house library use?
Yes, in fact, we highly recommend you use our new service. We prioritize all other services around this one. You may call and have your books picked for you prior to pick-up and merely step out from your car to the porch to pick up items with your last name and your books ready on our table. As time allows, we will begin to incorporate a Reader’s Advisory service to further personalize and enhance your reading choice experience.
3. Is your bookdrop open again?
Yes, our bookdrop is open; however, we are not accepting donations at this time.
4. How long will we have a grace period for items checked out before we closed?
These items will be extended through grace until June 1. Then we expect their return and will no longer consider these merely overdue but will make these items lost. You may return items in our bookdrop.
5. Who and what will we allow in the library during COVID-19?
We will not accept donations and volunteers will be considered on a very limited basis to help with managing library traffic and shelving. We will not allow personal items other than purses and book bags. We prohibit most personal items such as large knappsacks. Children under 16 will not be allowed in the library at this time.
6. Do I need to wear a mask in the library?
Cleanliness and regard for others are the priority. We expect users to practice healthy lifestyles. Those who do not, will be asked to leave. To that end, we will not require you to wear masks; however, if we find that users are not making good decisions about personal distancing and electing not to wear masks, we reserve the right to change this rule and require masks in the library.
7. Will we continue quarantining materials?
The staff will be practicing daily precautionary measures to make certain they are not sick, as described in Governor Abbott’s Guidelines for reopening the economy. The library will continue quarantining items returned. We will remove items from circulation for six days upon receipt and any items you review and do not check out will also be quarantined. For this reason our shelves will remain closed to the public. Staff will be picking all items for our guests to examine before placing them in quarantine.
8. What is our current assigned occupancy?
Our assigned occupancy for the building is 122; however, only about 5,000 to 6,000 square feet of this space is public common space, not work areas or community entertainment. Since we are attempting to keep our shelves free of contamination by touch of multiple users, we are allocating about 2,000 square feet as public space. With 6-foot distancing, we will allow six people to enter the building. Given our small number of staff, we want to make sure we can handle the new intensive service. Provided we are able to manage six people, we will allow eight people on the premises.
9. How will we rearrange furniture to accommodate social distancing?
We have already moved quite a bit of our furniture to accommodate social distancing standards. We will provide further instructions when you enter the building and are guided through our new procedures for services.
10. Will we allow public internet access? How will we disinfect computer keyboard, mouse, table?
When we reopen, we will allow three computers to be used by the public. These will be scheduled for one-hour sessions daily and we ask that you remain sensitive to other users' need for access during this time. We also ask that you refrain from asking for staff assistance for lack of computer knowledge since social distancing is mandatory. Our computers will be cleaned after every session. All viewing, keyboard table and chair surfaces will be cleaned with bleach solution.
11. Will we require staff to wear masks or other PPE?
Staff will be required to wear masks at all times as they work near the public.
12. How will we enforce social distancing?
While we cannot make guests abide by guidelines of social distancing, we can asks guests to leave if they infringe on the right of safety for others. Please let us know if you experience any issues.
13. What happens if a patrons appears ill and is coughing/sneezing profusely?
For the safety of all guests and staff, anyone who shows symptoms of illness will be asked to leave the building since we and they cannot know whether they are infected.