HELENA — After two years, the Lewis and Clark Library has reopened its meeting rooms for public use at all branches on Friday.
"It's a long time for folks not to be able to use our rooms," said John Finn, director of the Lewis and Clark Library.
Finn says the library is reopening the rooms because COVID-19 cases continue to decrease across Lewis and Clark County, and it is an exciting moment for the community spaces.
"It feels great. A little apprehension because we haven't done it in so long. We've hired new staff since the last time we've used our meeting rooms, so there's lots of training involved in checking the rooms out, making sure that the rooms are set up properly, etc.," said Finn.
People can reserve the small and large community rooms online or in person, and Finn says the community frequently used the spaces before the library closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This room, in particular, was used on average 150 times a month, either by library staff or the public. And we're probably going to ramp right up to that kind of usage very quickly, so for us, that means that we have a space to provide children, programs, adult programs," said Finn.
Finn says the library is eager to get back to normalcy and are also beginning to bring back in-person programming,
"We have a knitting class that we've been doing online that is slowly going to become an in-person class. Only I know that there are patrons at the desk right now reserving this room and the small community room for meetings and presentations, so all kinds of programs,"
In addition to restarting in-person programs, the library is also extending its weekend hours. The new weekend hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a complete list of library branches, hours, and services, visit lclibrary.org.