UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Many companies are still feeling the aftermath of the pandemic as staff shortages and increased costs continue, and the Utica public library is just one example of these local entities that need our help.

Last week we discussed the upcoming annual budget vote, and last night, Eyewitness News looked at how the Utica Public Library is doing as the pandemic begins to subside.

“We have found that more people are sitting in more spaces post-pandemic – I think people have welcomed the fact that they get a little more distance, but they’re also able to be around other people,” said Chris Sagaas, Director of the Utica Public Library.  

The staff has been working diligently since the library reopened to full operating hours last January, by offering the same reading and research tools, and making physical adjustments to common spaces to help make things feel “back to normal.”

“We still have enough tools, computers, books – everything else for people to access, but we don’t have our large congregate seating,” said Sagaas. “I’m seated [here] at a small café table, we have put more of that type of seating throughout the building.”

And while the library is still taking certain precautions to keep everyone safe, Director Chris Sagaas says this year feels different than others.

“It feels more like 2019 every day – that’s kinda what we feel like here,” said Sagaas.

Be sure to visit the Utica Public Library this summer, and make your voice heard in the annual budget vote on May 17th, 2022.