June 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Queens Public Library will reopen some of its branches next month as New York City begins to return to pre-coronavirus normalcy.
Six to eight branches in the borough will open for pick up and drop off services in mid-July, with more to follow, President and CEO of Queens Public Library Dennis Walcott said.
The library shut all of its 66 branches on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic and will reopen the branches to the public in stages. The locations of the first six to eight branches have not yet been disclosed.
“As we learn from the initial branch reopenings, we will gradually open other locations and expand services,” Walcott said in a statement.
Library visitors will be able to drop off books to return and pick up materials requested in advance at the branches, but will not be permitted to browse shelves or use public computers.
Each branch building will undergo extensive cleaning before reopening and staff members will reconfigure the space to meet social distancing guidelines.
All visitors and staff members will be required to wear masks. Staff members will also provide masks to those without one.
All returned books and items will be set aside and “quarantined” for a period of time before they are placed back onto shelves. Book donations will not be accepted.
Public programming and events will remain cancelled, but Queens Public Library will increase its virtual and online programs and resources.
“We will continue to increase our collection of ebooks and other digital resources, and to offer virtual programs, services, activities, and events on our social media channels and other platforms,” Walcott said.