First published in the April 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
As the world continues to adjust to living with COVID-19 and returning to normalcy, so is the La Cañada Flintridge Library with modifications to its schedule and return of popular programs.
The local branch of the L.A. County Public Library, at 4545 N. Oakwood Ave., is now open Tuesday through Saturday, aligning with about 40 other county libraries that also changed their hours of operation.
The library is open from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Masks are not required to enter the library, but recommended, and social distancing is encouraged.
Earlier in the pandemic, the library was open limited hours during the week, so adding Saturday is a good move, according to library officials.
“This has actually been more beneficial because kids can’t come during the week, people work during the week, so this has actually been turning out to be much better for the community,” Mark Totten, library manager, told the City Council during a meeting on April 5.
The library also resumed its preschool story time on Friday afternoons and still offers a variety of virtual programs for children, teenagers and families.
According to Totten, LCF never fell out of the top 10 in checkouts throughout L.A. County and had 11,130 items checked out in March. The figure is low when compared to numbers before the pandemic, which hovered between 18,000 and 19,000 checkouts.
Another factor to the lower number of checkouts is an increase in online services. More people are downloading books and streaming videos from the library than ever before.
“So, people are using the library — they’re just using it in a different way,” Totten said. “However, every month, [the number of checkouts] does seem to increase… It’s getting there, slowly. It’s been very encouraging from the public. I will say, I’ve heard horror stories. I did not have one argument the entire time from anybody in this city, so thank you residents. It’s been phenomenal.”