The Temple Public Library is preparing to reopen to walk-in patrons next week, but there will be some limitations on occupancy out of an abundance of caution in the wake of COVID-19.

Library hours will be 10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, and 10 AM to 3 PM Saturday. The library will be closed on Sundays.

A total of 50 visitors will be allowed inside the library at a time. Visitors must be 15 years of age or older until further notice. Library staff recommend only one person per household visit the library and make use of walk-in services.

Visitors will be able to browse and select books as usual, and self-checkout machines will be available. Library staff will also be available to help you check out materials. Curbside book delivery services will continue until further notice, and customer service will be available on the phone by calling (254) 298-5556 or via email. You can email a librarian by visiting this page on the Temple Public Library's website.

Six computers will be made available for public use on the second floor for visitors age 18 and over. Computer use is limited to 45-minute sessions, and you'll need a reservation. You can make a reservation by calling (254) 298-5702.

Meeting rooms, study rooms, and some other selected areas will remain closed for now.

It's not an ideal situation, but at least the library is beginning the process of reopening. I love the Temple Public Library, and consider it one of the finest libraries in Central Texas. I remember visiting the old library as a kid and how magical that felt.

The new library (yes, I still call it that, and I know I'm dating myself here) has a great area dedicated to children's books and sparking the imaginations of young visitors. I hate to think that so many Central Texas kids won't experience the joy and magic of visiting the library during the summer, but I understand the precautions they're taking.

That said, library staff have not been idle. If you're looking for virtual story times, reading programs, and other activities geared at getting kids excited about literature and storytelling, I highly recommend checking out their Faccebook page. Be sure to visit the Events section.

Our library is such a fantastic community resource, and I'll be so happy when things can get back to normal and we can all visit when we like.

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