SE Oklahoma Library System to begin reopening today

The Southeast Oklahoma Library System is excited to announce that most of its libraries, including Patrick Lynch Public Library in Poteau and the ones in Heavener, Spiro, Wister and Talihina, will begin allowing a limited number of users into the building starting today.
As for the Patrick Lynch Public Library, PLPL Manager Leslie Langley urges users to keep in mind that the library is not yet open at full capacity because of social distancing requirements. While users will be allowed to browse for reading materials, they will be limited to 20 minutes of browsing and must maintain a distance of six feet between other users and staff. In order to allow a distance of six feet between users, the library will only allow a maximum of 40 persons to be in the building at one time.
Public computers will be available, but not in the quantity or time limits people were accustomed to before the pandemic. The library has taken several computers offline to ensure a safe distance between users, who will be limited to one session with a maximum time of 30 minutes per day. Users of the library computers are required to bring their own face covering and wear it during their computer session.
Langley recommends that individuals wishing to use a library computer call the library in advance to make a reservation and ensure availability.
Other limitations are also being enforced as the library allows people access to the building. Lingering will not be allowed, and the library has removed or made unavailable all public seating for the public good. The meeting room is also unavailable for use at this time.
“We are still monitoring COVID-19 activity closely,” llibrary system director Michael Hull said. “We are acting out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of both our staff and the public. In the coming weeks, we’ll expand our service if the situation allows. We may also find it necessary to retreat back to only providing curbside service if the virus flares.”
Curbside service will continue for customers still wishing to take extra precautions against the spread of COVID-19. To use this service, simply use the library website to request materials or call the library and ask staff to reserve books or movies for you by title, author or genre. Then, call the library to schedule a time to pick up your materials at the designated pickup location.
This week the libraries will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Starting next week, the hours will change to Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Langley also wants to remind families that the summer reading program is in progress, even though it has taken a different shape this year. Weekly take-home activities are available, and digital programs are available online through the library’s Facebook page.
For more information about the Patrick Lynch Library, call (918) 647-4444, visit our website at or check out our Facebook page.