During the first phase of reopening, the library will be open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The library will be open for “transactional” services only such as returns, checkouts and computer use.
Several new protocols are being followed by staff and patrons and 6-foot social distancing will be practiced. Here’s the top-7 things to know before you go to BPL:
- Patrons age 10+ are required to wear a mask or face covering to enter the library, and must wear it while inside the library.
- Limited hours of service apply – initially, Mon-Thurs 10A-6P and Fri-Sat 10A-4P.
- Capacity limits will be enforced – initially, 50 people at a time inside the library.
- Time limits will be enforced when BPL is at capacity – initially, 30 minutes per patron.
- Patrons will be required to register outside the front door by showing their library card. Those who do not have a card can provide their name and contact information. The registration process allows for contact tracing, should it be necessary.
- Certain areas of the library, and some collections, are closed.
- Children under 10 must stay with their caregiver at all times.
Patrons are encouraged to continue to use Self-Service Pickup & Returns, available Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. We also encourage you to use our online form to request a library card.
Digital services are still available online through our website and digital apps. Visit www.bentonvillelibrary.org to see our full list of offerings.
When will the Library re-open?
The library re-opened to the public on June 9. BPL continues to serve patrons virtually and offers Self-Service Pickup & Returns at the front entrance.
What should patrons expect when the library re-opens?
- Face masks or coverings will be required for all patrons ages ten and up while in the facility.
- Children under the age of 10 must be with caregivers at all times.
- Library will enforce capacity limits. During the first phase of reopening, only 50 people will be allowed inside the building at any given time.
- Due to the limited capacity, time limits for use of the facility will be imposed to fairly provide the most patrons with equal access to the library. Initially, a 30-minute time limits is planned.
- Certain spaces in the facility will not be available.
- The library is not accepting donations at this time.
- Meeting and study rooms will not be available.
- The drive-thru book drop and the book drop at the Bentonville Community will remain closed.
What precautions are being taken to protect everyone’s health and safety?
- Staff are practicing certain precautions in order to serve our patrons. - (i.e. temperature checking, wearing of masks or face coverings, proper handling of materials, routine cleanings and sanitizing surfaces, touchpoints and technology)
- After closing, the facility was sanitized by our custodial team. Prior to re-opening, highly circulating collections were sanitized. - (i.e. picture books, board books, audiobooks and videos)
- Quarantining and sanitizing of returned library materials, and routine cleaning of surfaces, touchpoints and technology protect staff and patrons.
- Sneeze guards, regulated entry and other methods promote social distancing and limited contact between staff and patrons.
- Regulated entry allows for contact-tracing, should it become necessary.
Why is the library requiring patrons (age 10+) to wear a mask or face covering?
- BPL falls under the large indoor venue directives from the State of Arkansas. Also, we follow health and safety recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
- As a very public place that involves in-person interactions and tactile handling of materials, BPL expects patrons to cooperate with staff to do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
- If a patron does not have a mask or face covering, they will be informed of the requirement and asked to return wearing a mask or face covering.
- If any problems arise, the Bentonville Police Department will be contacted immediately.
If patrons do not want to wear a mask or face covering, what options are available?
Online materials and virtual library services are available, as well as self-service pickup & returns on the veranda. Without a mask or face covering, patrons will not be permitted to enter the Library.
What options are available for High Risk patrons?
Online materials and virtual library services are available, as well as self-service pickup & returns on the veranda. If a patron requests additional accommodations, he/she can call 479-271-3192.
Why is BPL limiting capacity in the building?
To effectively implement social distancing and provide transactional services to the most patrons, the number of people inside the Library at the same time is limited.
Why is BPL imposing a time limit?
Due to social distancing and limited capacity, time limits allow BPL to fairly provide the most patrons with equal access to the library.
As a family with small children, what do I need to know when visiting BPL?
- Patrons age 10+ are required to wear a mask or face covering.
- Children under the age of 10 are required to be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Up to 20 people can be inside the Bogle Children’s Library at any given time.
- Directional arrows for movement in the stacks should be followed.
- The Picture Book collection is “closed” but items are available for checkout by request.
- Certain collections are not available for circulation such as the American Girl® dolls, Library of Things and board books.
- Toys, seating and in-person programs are not available.
What’s happening with BPL programs and Summer Reading Club?
BPL is offering virtual programs and Summer Reading Club participation. Visit our website to learn more details or call 479-271-3192.
Are all BPL collections accessible?
No. The Children’s Picture Book collection is a “closed” collection due to its browsing format, but items are available for checkout by request.
Specialty collections such as American Girl® dolls, Library of Things and certain technology are currently not being loaned because of the difficulty to sanitize those items.
Additionally, BPL’s Arkansas and Genealogy collections are not available at this time.
Are public computers available?
Yes. Eight public computers are available in the adult area for a 30-minute use. If BPL is not at capacity, a time extension may be considered upon request.
Will the services on the veranda continue?
Yes. Patrons can continue to pick-up and drop-off materials for the foreseeable future. Since the library is open, patrons should park and walk up to the veranda instead of driving to the curb.
Will I have late fees?
While the library has been closed, late fees did not apply. Beginning July 1, late fees will begin to be assessed again.
Are all library spaces accessible?
No. Certain spaces will remain closed during the initial re-opening such as Study Rooms, Toddler Room, Genealogy Department, Friends Bookstore and Meeting Rooms.
Are the bookdrops open?
No. The drive-thru book drop and the book drop at the Bentonville Community Center will remain closed. Patrons can return items on the veranda during designated hours.
Why are certain spaces in the library closed initially?
Limited capacity and social distancing is new for everyone; BPL would like to gauge patron flow and public demand before introducing more options.
Why are the meeting rooms closed?
The meeting rooms are used for library purposes during this transitional time. BPL needs the spaces for quarantining and sanitizing of materials, as well as furniture storage.
When will the Friends bookstore re-open?
After BPL re-opens for a short time, the library director will visit with the FOL President to determine when the time is right to bring more people back. Volunteers will adhere to staff protocols.
Why is the library not accepting book donations?
Due to large volume of returns pending, BPL staff need to focus on handling library materials using proper procedures such as quarantine / sanitizing before staff can accept additional items. Also, there are limited carts and space for quarantining donated books.
When will the Genealogy department re-open?
After BPL re-opens for a short time, the library director will visit with the NWAGS President to determine when the time is right to bring more people back. Volunteers will adhere to staff protocols.
When will Library Volunteers return to work?
The library team will determine when the time is right and contact volunteers about a future return date. Volunteers will adhere to staff protocols.
When will the Library relax certain protocols or begin offering more services?
The Library will continue to follow state directives, national recommendations and city guidance. Many of these measures are considered a long-term temporary situation, and certain phases or levels of Library services will be adjusted in response to conditions accordingly.
How did BPL develop its response to COVID-19?
BPL Librarians developed a “COVID-19 Procedure Manual” which is considered a best practice for our local situation. The plan was endorsed by the Library Advisory Board on May 6, 2020.
Many government and health resources, as well as library industry documents, information and blogs were consulted. The focus of library leadership is protecting the health and safety of staff and patrons, and doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Is 211 Cafe open?
Yes. 211 Cafe is open for walk-up orders and in-library service. Library protocols and Arkansas directives for restaurants are followed.