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Check out Nederland’s expanded library hours, public resource access

NEDERLAND — Checking out a book or accessing one of Marion and Ed Hughes Public Library’s many resources is about to get a whole lot easier.

Beginning next week (March 1), the Nederland library is expanding hours to 1 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Nederland City Council also approved a capacity limit of 25 patrons in the facility, up from 10 previously allowed under a COVID-precaution restriction.

Library Director Victoria Klehn said the city manager and city council have paced all expansions of service in an effort to protect the community.

“This tells us that things are moving in the right direction,” Klehn said. “It’s a positive sign that while COVID is still out there, things are gradually returning to normal.”

Starting Monday, the library will also provide two workstation computers for public use. Depending on demand during peak hours, time on the machines may be limited to 20 or 30 minutes.

Following the parish’s initial COVID lockdowns, Marion and Ed Hughes Public Library first opened back up with curbside service, followed by limited hours and patron access.

Next week’s access expansion represents the closest the library has come to reaching its pre-COVID operations.

Klehn said staff members miss visiting with patrons and having children actually sit down for storytime.

“It is something that as each stage is reached, it is positive to both the community and the staff,” she said. “This is really important, and I understand taking it slow. We don’t want to backslide and end up back in a stage where we are under a partial lockdown. We hope the community understands what we had to do. We do have a lot of seniors that come in and we work to protect them and all the members.”

The library is located at 2712 Nederland Ave. For more information, call 409-722-1255.

During this week’s city council meeting, Nederland officials indicated the next city council meeting — March 8 — would again be open to the public to attend at city hall.