The city’s three library systems – The New York Public Library (NYPL), Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and Queens Public Library (QPL) – will expand services to include browsing and computer use at select branches throughout the five boroughs beginning on May 10.
The three systems, which closed their physical locations in March 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, have been carefully and gradually reopening locations and reinstituting services to safely serve the New Yorkers who need them.
In addition to a robust suite of virtual programs and resources, including e-books, online storytimes, virtual book clubs, and remote homework help, resume assistance, and job search help, the libraries began offering grab-and-go book pickup and on-site library card sign-up in July.
Beginning on May 10 in select locations, patrons will be able to browse shelves for a set period of time and make appointments to use computers.
All patrons must follow safety protocols, including wearing masks, social distancing, and respecting time limits to ensure that as many patrons as possible can utilize services.
The systems are working towards opening additional locations this summer, and a full reopening as soon as possible in 2021.
The branches opening in Brooklyn are Brownsville, Canarsie, Central, Clinton Hill, Coney Island, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Fort Hamilton, Greenpoint, Kings Highway, Midwood, Mill Basin and Red Hook.
The branches opening in Queens include Arverne, Astoria, Auburndale, Bellerose, Cambria Heights, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Hillcrest, Long Island City, Peninsula, Queensboro Hill, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood and Rochdale Village,
The branches selected were based on a number of factors, including proximity to public transportation, size, building condition and location, with the goal of covering as much of the City as possible.
“Libraries are essential to building a strong, fair, and equitable city, especially in the face of a global health crisis,” said Queens Public Library president and CEO Dennis Walcott. “Given the current public health conditions, the growing need for our resources and the eagerness of our staff to provide more services to the public, now is the right time to take the next step.”