Brooklyn Public Library has taken its first step to reopening after having its locations shuttered for months by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bushwick, Central, Flatbush, Kings Highway, New Lots, Bay Ridge, and Red Hook Library branches opened their doors today, Bklyner reported. The locations will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“Even amid these difficult times, our commitment to providing our communities with access to information is strong,” BPL spokesperson Fritzi Bodenheimer told Bklyner.
Readers headed to the reopened branches will be required to wear masks and social distancing rules will be in place. Although people will be able to enter a small area inside some libraries, librarians will mostly be doing returns and pick ups from the front doors. Books will need to be reserved in advance online or over the phone.
“In this first phase, patrons will be able to return books and pick up holds. Self-checkout machines and the BPL app (which allows you to check out books right on your phone) are enabling us to go contact-free,” Bodenheimer said.
“We will maintain our thriving virtual library with e-books, audiobooks, and several dozen educational, cultural, and workforce programs each week, ranging from story time for children; to help for jobseekers and small business owners; to live performances, to games, art programs, our dial-a-story service and much more!”
Returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being put back into circulation. BPL will be waiving late fees for books borrowed before the pandemic that are yet to be returned.
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