MILLARD, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Public Libraries have been closed since March 16, but starting this week, you can once again check out materials from five branches around the area.
Since closing its doors, the library has been offering content like e-books online.
“But that’s not the way everyone reads," said spokesperson Emily Getzscham. "So we’re trying hard as hard as we can to get materials into people’s hands who really just want that physical book, or movie or CD, or whatever it may be.”
Patrons can place a hold on items online or call one of the designated branches to make an appointment for pickup.
Mary Wampler, a long-time patron of the library, stopped by the Millard location for some audiobooks on Thursday morning.
“I miss being at the library; I miss being in the library," Wampler said. "I knew I had quite a few things on hold, so I thought I would just come over and do it.”
Wampler is one of many who have taken advantage of the curbside pickup since it began on Tuesday. During the first day, over 500 people checked out materials.
“I’ve put a lot of things on hold this time," Wampler said. "Probably more than I’m going to be able to get done real quickly.”
With so many people using the system, sometimes it takes a little time for the librarians to pick up, but they say to keep calling.
While it does not have a reopen date at this time, the library is working to find ways offer events like summer reading amid the pandemic.
“We are hoping to make some of those programs that people enjoy virtual, putting those online," Getzscham said. "And currently, just responding to what people have been asking us for. You can go find a story time online anywhere, but kids in our community have connections with their librarians.”
In the meantime, the library encourages patrons to explore resources online and hold onto any materials they have while the library tries to finds a safe way to do returns.
Anyone who wants to wait until they're more comfortable to get their materials need not worry, as holds are still in place and the item will be waiting for them when they're ready.
Branches offering curbside pick-up include:
If the branch you normally visit is not offering this service, holds designated to those locations will be rerouted to a branch that does.