KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
March 14, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Fort Bend County public libraries will launch their phase 3 re-opening process starting Monday, March 15. This will include Katy’s Cinco Ranch Branch Library just in time for the start of Katy ISD’s spring break.
Cinco Ranch Branch Library Included in New Hours, Services Starting Monday
Monday, March 15 marks the start of the phase 3 re-opening process for five of the Fort Bend County public libraries. This will include: George Memorial Library, Sienna Branch Library, University Branch Library, and Katy’s Cinco Ranch Branch Library near LaCenterra.
“We miss all of our patrons, and we know how important our libraries are to their daily lives,” says Library Director Clara Russell. “We want to return to “normal” service as soon as possible, but this needs to happen in phases so that we can keep everyone safe and healthy.”
In addition to the re-opening of these first five libraries, Phase 3 includes a gradual re-opening of other branches at later dates.
The hours for the five Phase 3 locations, as well as for the remaining Curbside-Service-only locations, are:
Monday-Thursday – 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday – 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday – 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at all locations EXCEPT at the Albert George Branch Library (Needville), the Mamie George Branch Library (Stafford), and the Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch Library. For these branches, the Saturday hours are 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday – ALL locations are closed.
Curbside Services Still Offered
The Books & More Curbside Pick-Up service will continue to be available at ALL locations.
Despite Governor Abbott lifting the statewide mask order, patrons 2-years-old and up who enter the library are required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines. Anyone unable to wear a mask can be assisted through the contact-free curbside pick-up service.
Phase 3 Services at the 5 Participating County Branch Libraries will Include:
Browse all collections.
Complete a library-card application in person to apply for or renew your library card or update your address;
Pay fines/fees of $5 and up with a credit card (Mastercard/VISA/Discover) at the circulation desk. Cash will not be accepted.
Make copies, scan, or fax documents.
Use a computer and print; 2-hour limit; only one session is allowed per day. Reserve by calling the library or reserving online on the FBCL website or in person at the library; requires a library card.
Ask questions at the Reference Desk.
Use study rooms (2-person maximum capacity).
Mobile WiFi hotspots and Launchpads are available for check out on a first-come, first-served basis to Fort Bend County residents.
Computers will be spaced apart so that social distancing is observed. Computer sessions will be limited to two hours.
Meeting rooms and conference rooms will not be open at this time.
Cash cannot be accepted for fines or fees.
Programming and events for children, teens, and adults will remain online and in virtual formats.
Donations of books cannot be accepted at this time.
Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Everyone entering the buildings will start at the health-screening station; hand-sanitizer is also available.
The staff at all Fort Bend County Libraries will continue to take precautions to ensure a safe and germ-free environment for everyone, including checking staff temperatures upon their arrival at the building, wearing masks, washing hands, disinfecting hard surfaces and workstations daily, and quarantining returned materials.
Books, mobile WiFi hotspots, Launchpads, and inter-library loan materials should be returned in the book drop. Hotspots and Launchpads must be returned to the same library from which they were checked out. Book bins will sit untouched before books will be checked in; additional overdue/late fees will not accrue.
Patrons always have instant access to eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, movies, and magazines through the libraries’ digital collections, etc.
“FBCL serves a large number of residents throughout the county, so we are being very thoughtful and deliberate with our re-opening plans,” says Russell. “These are our friends and neighbors, and we’re going to do everything in our power to expand library services while keeping our staff and communities safe.”
The following services are available at ALL library locations throughout the county:
Check out books, DVDs, or CDs.
Use the online library-card application to apply for or renew your library card, update your address, or upgrade an e-Card, and pick up new library cards through the curbside pick-up service.
Library staff continue to be available by phone, email, or online chat to assist patrons.
WiFi can be accessed from the parking lots of the libraries.
Mobile WiFi hotspots are available for check out on a first-come, first-served basis to Fort Bend County residents;
Utilize the curbside pick-up service.
Request Inter-library loans (ILLs).
Return books, hotspots, and ILLs in the book drop.
Readers can participate in livestreamed book clubs in real time via Webex.
Adult computer how-to videos are accessible from the website.
For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website or call the library system’s Communications Office 281-633-4734.