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Arts & Life

Rochester Public Libraries to reopen Monday

James Brown
Rochester's largest libraries will reopen next week.

Select Rochester Public Libraries are reopening Monday. The libraries have been closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Library will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, while all branch libraries will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, closed on Friday.

The library system’s Associate Director Adam Traub said they plan to roll out the reopenings slowly starting with larger libraries in order to enforce social distancing guidelines.

“Some of our branch libraries are rather small and enforcing social distancing would be rather tricky,” said Traub. “We’re going to try with some of our branches where they’re the safest and the easiest to maintain social distancing guidelines and follow other CDC and Monroe County Department of Health recommendations.”

Visitors will be required to get their temperatures checked and fill out an assessment on how they feel. Masks and social distancing will also be musts. Plexiglas has been installed at checkout desks and furniture and computers have been rearranged to keep people further from each other. All to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Smaller branches like Charlotte, Monroe, Douglass and several others will only offer curbside service. Traub said reopening buildings with precautions is a step toward normalcy.

“Our hope is as we roll out our services slowly and cautiously that we can ramp back up to offering that experience of a library that we offered before the pandemic,” said Traub.

Services will vary by branch as follows:

  • Curbside Pickup Only: Charlotte, Sully, Wheatley, Lyell, Monroe and Douglass
  • In-person Browsing, Research, and Selected Services: Arnett, Maplewood, Winton, Lincoln and the Central Library

The Rundel Building of the Central Library will remain closed, however, research and exhibit access will be available by appointment only.

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