Monday, June 1, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City begins reopening library, pool facilities

City libraries and pools are reopening for the summer beginning this week.

Beginning today, Austin Public Library begins its phased reopening of library branches across the city. In phase two, which started today, book drops at branches are open.

Books returned to the library book drops during phase two will be quarantined for 72 hours in order to prevent spread of Covid-19.

“We encourage customers to begin returning borrowed materials,” said a social media post from the library. “There are more than 200,000 outstanding items to be returned.”

Library staffers will also return to their branches today observing social distancing practices although branches are still not open to the public.

Phase three, which begins June 8, will bring curbside services to the community. Central, Manchaca, Ruiz, Southeast, Carver, Windsor Park, University Hills, North Village, Spicewood Springs, and Milwood branches will offer curbside service first, and other branches will follow as “health and safety precautions allow.”

Curbside pickup will run from Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Up to seven holds per library card can be placed.

First, library patrons will visit the library website and select up to seven desired items. The library will send an email when the items are ready for pickup.

Customers picking up from the Central Library will have to park in the garage, take the Second Street elevator or the stairs to the main entrance and call the number posted on the sign outside the building. Library staff, maintaining social distance, will place items on a table outside.

Customers picking up from one of the branches should call the posted number, let staff know they have arrived and describe their vehicle.

The library hasn’t said yet when it will approach phases four and five, in which the library will open with limited customer access and eventually resume full service at all locations.

Also beginning today, the Parks and Recreation Department is reestablishing access to the following outdoor park amenities: multi-directional travel on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Barton Springs Spillway, disc golf, neighborhood tennis courts, outdoor volleyball courts and outdoor basketball courts, park pavilions, Zilker Botanical Garden, and select swimming pools.

Opening pools include Northwest, Walnut Creek, Bartholomew, Govalle, Mabel Davis, Rosewood, Barton Springs, Big Stacy, Garrison, Deep Eddy, and Shipe.

Reservations are required at Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, Bartholomew, Walnut Creek, Garrison, Northwest, and Mabel Davis. Reserve a time slot online, available in two-hour chunks. No reservations are required for Big Stacy, Rosewood, Shipe, or Govalle. Splash pads will continue to be closed through summer.

Pools will be cleaned and disinfected every two hours. Access to changing rooms and showers is restricted, but poolgoers can still use toilet areas and sinks. But don’t use the toilet areas to change clothes; go to the facility ready to swim.

In a May 29 memo, City Manager Spencer Cronk detailed reopening strategies for all city departments. Read the memo below:

Download (PDF, 1.15MB)

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin Public Library: This is Austin's public library system, run by the city.

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department: The city department responsible for the city's park system, rec centers, and associated infrastructure.

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