CRESTVIEW — Frank Sinatra sang, “Let’s take it nice and easy.” What great advice for a city carefully reopening after more than a month’s closure, and for your Crestview Public Library, too.


Though Ol’ Blue Eyes was singing about falling in love, we know you’re already in love with reading, learning, story hours, crafts, classes, and all the other services your library has to offer. They’re all coming back, but following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Safe, Smart, Step-By-Step Plan,” the city, the library and other Crestview facilities are reopening in three careful phases.


That’s so city leaders can regularly monitor how well our community and region are recovering from the coronavirus infection rate and adjust the pace of reopening as the situation dictates.


The library began progress toward “normal” May 4 when we returned to work and started implementing reopening plans that were many weeks in the making and making preparations for limited services and reduced occupancy.


For the first week, we’ve been disinfecting every doorknob and surface we can find and calling patrons who have materials on hold so we can distribute them curbside.


Starting Monday, May 11, we’re open for curbside pick-up service weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s how it works:


• Check availability at readokaloosa.org. Only materials in our collection are available


• Email your request to crestviewlibraryholds@myokaloosa.com, or call 682.4432. Provide your full name and library card number


• There is a five-item limit


• Allow 24 hours to fill your request


• Materials will be checked out on your pick-up day. If you can’t make it, please let us know. Materials not picked up will be reshelved


• Let the librarian know the color and make of your car. Please show your ID or library card, and finally


• When you’re done enjoying your materials, please return them on time to the appropriate book or media drop box


Beginning Monday, May 18, your library will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays under limited capacity to assure physical distancing between us, you and other patrons. Computer use will be limited to one hour so others may use them. And, of course, we’ll be disinfecting everything like crazy!


We appreciate these necessary steps are a little awkward, but if everything goes well and the local COVID-19 infection data improves, we will return to our regular operating hours, including weekends, by May 26. Remember, though, this date could be affected by community health data and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.


We know you are eager to return to your library as much as we are eager to see you again. We have some exciting programs waiting for you, including our children’s programs, classes and regular club gatherings — although with physical distancing in place.


As you contemplate stepping out into the world again, in our lobby we will have an exhibit of materials about traveling in Europe, rescheduled from May, to let you stretch your wings. It will be accompanied by a free 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, class (rescheduled from May 5) on how to travel in Europe by rail.


Like Frank said, we’ll return to normalcy, but in steps. Because, “nice and easy does it every time.”


Brian Hughes is the public information officer for the city of Crestview.