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Published April 14th, 2021
Library extends feature to Orinda Community Park pending reopening
Photos Sora O'Doherty

Do your kids want to read a book, but still want to play in the park? Orinda has you covered.
The Friends of the Orinda Library extended big thanks to children's librarian Lin Look who recently installed a Storywalk in Orinda Community Park. Repurposing old campaign signs, she built and installed a freestanding version of Eric Carle's "Very Hungry Caterpillar" along the path between the swing set and tennis courts. The signs reach just the right height for little ones.
Returning to the library itself is also drawing near. Beginning Monday, April 26, Contra Costa County Library will reopen most community libraries to the public for Grab & Go service. The libraries will be open with limited occupancy and offer select services. Patrons will be asked to limit their time in the library to no more than one hour and to abide by all safety protocols including social distancing and mask requirements.
Available services will include computer use for no more than one hour, reference and counter help, holds pick up, browsing, checkout and returns, and copies and printing. Library manager Michael Beller is also excited that Link+ has just relaunched. Beller says that for Link+ users, "that's really huge." This catalog of more than 4.5 million unique titles available from over 60 academic and public libraries across California and Nevada allows users of the library to access materials not available from the Contra Costa County Library collection.
When the library reopens, seating will only be available at selected public computers to encourage social distancing. Toys and high touch play items will be removed from the library for the present. Services that will still not be available for safety reasons include the use of study and meeting rooms, in-person events. and the use of tables and chairs for reading and studying.
Safety enhancements include the installation of plexiglass shields at service desks; enhanced cleaning of "high-touch" surfaces such as doorknobs, door push bars, and elevator buttons. Additionally, the following safety protocols will be in place: customers over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask or face covering, social distancing reminders will be placed throughout the library, building capacity will be limited, hand sanitizer will be available at entrances and sanitizing wipes will be available for customers to sanitize shared surfaces.
Beller says that he has to remind himself that the reopening process is gradual and that the library will move to the next phase (with better access) as soon as they are able. "I can't wait to see everyone back," Beller said. "I just hope that our patrons will be patient with us for not offering all of the resources that they're used to us offering."

Young girls read Storywalk signs in Orinda Community Park. Photos Sora O'Doherty

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