Erie County Public Library to begin phased reopening
Starting in June through July
The Erie County Public Library recently announced that it will begin a phased reopening process on June 1.
All Erie County Public Libraries have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due dates were extended for all items, and patrons who still had items checked out were not charged late fees. Now, the blanket due date for all outstanding items is July 1.
The phased reopening will start in June and continue through July. On June 1, all furloughed staff will return to work to begin what the organization deems a "tiered reopening." Throughout the coming weeks, more services will be offered at two-week intervals. This is to ensure that branches are opening as safely as possible, and any adjustments can be made if necessary.
Starting June 3, the library will begin offering reference services to patrons through phone and email. Returns will also start to be accepted on this date through the external book drop at all locations. To ensure proper disinfecting of materials, items will be quarantined.
Library facilities will remain closed to the public until June 29, with curbside service being offered to the public starting June 15. To reserve items for curbside pickup, patrons can call the library or use the online catalog at catalog.erielibrary.org.
The June 29 reopening of the libraries will include continued curbside pickup, as well as limited browsing. In the final stage of its phased reopening, all library facilities in the Erie County Public Library system will open on July 13 for most in-person services. This is, of course, reliant on local, state, and national guidelines.
The library is also installing protective equipment at service desks and hand sanitizing stations throughout the branches. Staff will be encouraged to social distance upon returning to work, and patrons will also be encouraged to social distance once branches open to the public. To encourage social distancing among patrons, furniture will be moved in each facility.
Independent libraries, such as Waterford, McCord, and Albion, will also offer curbside pickup starting June 15 and have adopted the July 1 due date.
After a long-awaited reopening, the Erie County Public Library system is looking forward to serving its community again.
"In compliance with all guidelines, we are excited to begin the process of gradually reopening our library locations to ensure we protect all of our staff and patrons as much as possible," Blane Dessy, director of the Erie County Public Library said in a statement. "We want everyone to enjoy the library and to be assured that all health precautions are being taken."
For more information about library hours and the phases of reopening, contact your library directly or visit erielibrary.org.