New Castle County will have a limited reopening of its libraries under Covid-19 protocols. Select libraries will open on Monday, April 12.
“We are very excited to re-open library doors to our guests,” said County Executive Meyer. “It’s been a long year without our libraries, and I am so proud of the ways our libraries and librarians have continued to serve our public throughout the pandemic, and now it’s time to welcome our patrons back.”
Some in-person services will be available two and half days a week per branch. The schedule for each branch is posted HERE.
Patrons will be able to browse the New Materials collection, checkout materials, place and pick up holds, and register for library cards. Libraries will also offer public computer and printer use with a focus on adult patrons who may be lacking Internet access.
Due to limited building capacity and computer spacing needs, users are encouraged to call their local library Monday through Saturday to schedule an appointment in advance.
Computer appointments will be scheduled in 45-minute intervals to allow for cleaning between patron sessions. During this re-opening stage, in-person programs will not be held in libraries and meeting rooms and study rooms will not be available to the public for reservation.
“As difficult as this past year has been, we are very grateful to our patrons for their support of the services we were able to deliver during the pandemic,” said Diana Brown, New Castle County’s Manager of Libraries. “From implementation in mid-June through March, curbside delivery provided almost 700,000 items to patrons. Now, as we transition back to normal operations over the coming months, we look forward to seeing all the faces we have missed.”
This is the first phase of re-opening and as vaccination eligibility expands, County officials expect in-person hours to be added accordingly. Approximately half of New Castle County library staff have received their first vaccination.
All New Castle County libraries will continue to offer free wireless broadband Internet service in their parking lots, as well as introduce a new service provided through a grant from the Delaware Division of Libraries for checkout of Chromebooks and Hotspots to library patrons.
In keeping with state emergency orders, masks and social distancing will be required. Guards will ensure that masks and social distancing procedures are followed.
Cleaning will be stepped up. This will include keyboards after every use.
Libraries now have ionization units that filter out Covid-19.