Parents in Boise will be happy to hear some great news about our library system. During the Boise Public Library's Board of Trustees meeting today, they announced plans to further re-open all of the library branches.

Recently, the Boise Public Library announced their "Walk-In Wednesdays" program. The library branches have been open for browsing during the limited hours of 2pm to 6pm on Wednesdays only. The main library downtown is available Monday through Friday for browsing during these same hours. The success of "Walk-In Wednesdays" was overwhelming. In many cases, there were lines outside for access to the buildings.

It was announced during today's meeting that the library branches would now match the main library hours of 2pm-6pm Monday through Friday. This plan will go into effect before the end of March.

The reason for the limited access may surprise you. It wasn't for fear of COVID-19 for patrons or employees. Instead, the reason the Boise Public Library has remained closed to browsing was because of staffing issues. Since the pandemic began, cutbacks sent many library employees home. The library's solution for the demand for their services was to create a curbside pickup program. That program was highly successful. They are working to continue that service, along with the extended days of in-person browsing. Curbside pickup requires a lot of manpower, especially when combined with in-person browsing daily.

During today's meeting, it was asked if the library would consider later browsing times. Some parents work later in the day, making the 6pm closing time nearly impossible. The board said that they would consider some other options but depend entirely on staff availability.

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