Last update 3/17/20

Keep your visit brief.

The coronavirus has created unprecedented challenges for families and communities. At the library, we are committed to keeping the public and our staff safe, and also to making sure you all still have access to information and to library services as long as it is safe to do so. We continue to work within the guidelines set by Austin Public Health and the CDC, as well as the President.

Here’s where we are at right now:

Coronavirus information   Current information is on our website and is updated several times a day.

Limited hours  We will be instigating shorter hours to limit staff exposure and allow time for sanitization.  Members may visit BRIEFLY to pick up books or use a computer. New hours are

Monday and Wednesday 10-2

Friday and Saturday 12-4

Digital library   We have a robust digital library accessible with a full library membership. Resources and instructions are on the Digital Library page of our website. It includes thousands of ebooks, downloadable audios, magazines and newspapers. We have Kanopy for films and Acorn for British television. There are other resources there too, like Mango Languages, Bookflix, Tumblebooks, Learning Express, and test prep from the Testing & Education Resource Center. Take this time to learn something new!

Social distancing  We expect everyone in the library to maintain a safe social distance of at least 6’ from non-family members.

Using computers  You can use a computer for up to 15 minutes. We will limit the number of computers available to preserve safe social distance.

Using printer, scanner, or fax   Basic office equipment will be available for use free of charge.

Checking out materials   You can browse the collection and use self-checkout. Instructions are on the self-check computers.  If you have misplaced your library card, you can create a replacement card on your smart phone. Instructions are here.

Autorenewal  On the day your items are due, they will automatically renew one time if no one is waiting for them.

DVD checkouts  Movies can now be checked out for 14 days instead of 7, so all your materials will be due at the same time. This will apply to items checked out after 3/16.

Reserve and pickup   You can reserve items, and we will notify you when they are ready for pickup. When you place your reserve, you can select which library you wish to hold your reserve for pickup. If you select Laura’s, you can pick up your reserve at the drive-thru window during library open hours. If you select Westbank, you’ll need to come in during open hours, pick up your reserve from the shelf, and use self-checkout.  Instructions for reserving items are on our FAQ page.

Account issues  If you have account issues that are preventing you from using your library card, email us at questions@westbanklibrary.com. We’ll help you get it cleared up. We will be working on software solutions for keeping accounts from expiring or being blocked while we are under service restrictions.

Needing a library card   If your family does not have a library card, we will have an online application available soon. Fill it out, and we will get back to you as soon as we can with your new library card number and login. Membership information and coming-soon application are here. We may require proof of residence to obtain a full access card.

Fine free   We will not be charging late fees during this time, however we expect that people will endeavor to return materials on time if possible. If your items are very late, they will be marked as missing by library software which will block your account. If this happens, email us at questions@westbanklibrary.com and we will work with you.

Returning materials  All materials should be returned to a book drop that is attached to the building. There is a drive-thru book drop at Laura’s. At Westbank, the drive-thru drop will be closed. Please use the drop at the front of the building. If anyone in your family is ill, please return materials in a plastic bag so that we can quarantine the material prior to sanitizing.

Onsite programs are canceled for now  We will be canceling programs through the end of the March, and we will extend that on a bi-weekly basis as necessary. We will have take home crafts available at the drive-thru at Laura’s Library during our library open hours.

Virtual programming  We will be streaming some programs and videoing others. Watch our website and Facebook for information over the coming weeks.

Backyard play  You are welcome to take your kids into the backyard at either library to play during library open hours. Make sure they wash their hands after playing as we are not sanitizing outdoor equipment. We are removing toys from indoor children’s areas.

Book sale room   The book sale room will be closed until further notice and we will not be accepting book donations.

Interlibrary loans (ILLs)   We are unable to borrow materials from other libraries at this time.

Staff assistance   We are happy to help with any questions you have. You can call (512.327.3045) or text (512.649.2247) – we’ll answer if we’re in or return your call if you leave a message. You can also email us at questions@westbanklibrary.com. During open hours, we can help you in person from a distance of at least 6’.

 We are here to help in any way we can. Let us know what you are concerned about, because others might be concerned about the same thing. Working together, perhaps we can find solutions and all come through this stronger.

 Take care, and wash those hands often!