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Photo courtesy City of Camarillo.
Thursday, May 6, 2021

By Chris Frost

Camarillo-- The Camarillo Library Board received a report from Interim Director Patricia Crosby, April 28, who updated the group about the library's April 27 reopening of the facility after being closed for over a year because of Covid-19 restrictions.


"We opened the library yesterday (April 27), and it was our first open day in over a year," she said. "We did have a line outside the library at about 9:30 a.m., a half-hour before we opened, and it was nice to see anxious people walking through the doors again."


As people walked through the open doors, she heard many people thanking the staff for being there and reopening the venue.


"We really appreciate this service, and it is so good to back in the Camarillo Library," she said. "It was kind of a stampede, so we just got out of the way and said thank you, welcome back."


Crosby thanked the city staff for making the reopening possible, including facilities and information technology, that worked with the library staff to make the day a success.


"The plexiglass is all up, the signs are on the floor, and we've got hand sanitizer stations throughout the building," she said. "We also have disposable masks at each service desk in case anyone needs them as they walk through the door. The staff is disinfecting throughout the hour and at the beginning of the shifts."


Curbside is still happening, she said, and Tuesdays usually are their busiest day.


"Today (Tuesday), there were 47 pickups," she said. "Normally, we do between 170-200 on Tuesdays. Having said that, our door count was 536, so that was great."


She loves the new self-checkout machines and the updated computer software.


"Patrons are very pleased to see those new computer monitors and stations, as well," she said. "We also have roamers who are walking throughout the building who are checking in on each other, the staff, and monitoring the vibe of the building and answering questions. We're going to do that for a little while."


The children's room tracked people coming in, she said, and 300 people stopped at the children's desk on opening day.


"We have book bundles of books that are not completely new but are newish," she said. "Those are all throughout the building at different levels and are popular, as well."


The Friends of the Camarillo Library held a soft opening, and they are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.


"They had just advertised about that to their email members on Monday night because they wanted it to be a very soft reopening," she said. "They also had people lined up outside their door before they reopened. They heard comments that they saw the library had reopened, so they were coming into the friend's store. The foot traffic was steady all day, and they said they made $400 before noon. Their total for the day was just over $930, and on normal Tuesdays, they would bring in $600. It was a nice little blast, and it was nice to see that."


She said the friends went home tired, but they were happy.


The reopening for the cafe is still to be determined, based on the foot traffic through May. The cafe is projected to reopen in late June or early July.