Updated August 6, 2020
Our Plan to Safely Reopen Our Branches
Lobby Service is now available or coming soon at the below locations. BPL will add open locations and branch offerings over time to help keep our staff and patrons safe.
Libraries now offering Lobby Service:
- Bay Ridge Library
- Bushwick Library
- Central Library* (cannot place new holds)
- Flatbush Library
- Kings Highway Library
- New Lots Library
- Red Hook Library
Libraries opening soon for Lobby Service on Monday, August 10:
- Canarsie Library
- Clarendon Library
- Coney Island Library
- Cortelyou Library
- Fort Hamilton Library
- Homecrest Library
- Park Slope Library
- Macon Library
- Stone Avenue Library
- Williamsburgh Library
Hours for all Lobby Service locations are:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: 10am to 4pm
- Tuesday and Thursday: 1pm to 7pm
How Lobby Service works:
Patrons have access to select branch lobbies for quick transactions. Masks are required for both patrons and staff. Materials that are checked out during this time will not accrue fines for the time being (nor will fines will accrue on items checked out before the closure). These on-site services will be available:
- Holds pickup* in branch lobby
- Return bins in branch lobby
*For the time being, Central Library is not able to be selected for pickup as they work through a large backlog of holds. Pre-existing holds set for Central will remain that way unless patrons choose to change it.
Reopening Stages & Services
Library services will follow a phased approach and will be available to the public in the below service levels at different locations. Expanding library services will be based on public health circumstances; no dates for Limited Access or Additional Access have been set yet. Continue to check this page and our locations map to see what service levels are available.
Patrons will have access to branch lobbies for quick transactions. Masks will be required for both patrons and staff. Materials that are checked out during this time will not accrue fines for the time being (fines will not accrue on items checked out before temporary closure or during this first phase of reopening). These on-site services will be available:
- Holds pickup in branch lobby
- Book return bins in branch lobby
In the next step, patrons will have access to the first floor of their branch for lending and browsing. Masks continue to be required for both patrons and staff, and branch capacity will be reduced for social distancing. We will be adding on the following services:
- First floor browsing
- Check-outs and returns at self-service kiosks
- Reference and support visits (by appointment only): Adult Learning tutoring, job search assistance, Census support and general library reference help
- Census computer terminal
- Library card sign-ups, and transitioning e-cards to full library cards
Wider technology access becomes available in this step, as well as additional in-branch access. Masks continue to be required for both patrons and staff, and branch capacity will be reduced for social distancing. We will be adding on the following services:
- First and second floor browsing
- Regular check-outs and returns
- Staggered public computer use: every other computer available
- In-branch laptop loan
- Table access: two patrons to a table maximum
Note: Meeting rooms and branch programs will remain unavailable until further notice.
BPL will continue providing virtual services during and beyond our reopening process. Learn more about digital services here.
Health & Safety Protocols
BPL is following the latest safety guidelines from the CDC and American Library Association (ALA) to ensure our branches and materials are safe for our staff and patrons.
Brooklyn Public Library requires that everyone, staff and patrons included, wear a suitable face covering at all times while inside our facilities. This requirement is based on CDC recommendations as a measure to contain the wearer’s respiratory droplets and help protect all staff and patrons. Wearing a face covering does not replace the need to practice social distancing.
CDC guidelines recommend the use of a washable cloth face covering which covers the nose and mouth. BPL welcomes staff and patrons to wear their own face covering if it meets the following guidelines:
- fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- completely covers the nose and mouth
- is secured with ties or ear loops
- includes multiple layers of fabric
- allows for breathing without restriction
If staff or patrons do not have a suitable cloth face covering (as determined exclusively by the Library), we will provide single-use, disposable face coverings for use while on BPL premises. These are multiple-layer, non-surgical masks intended for use for no more than 4 continuous hours. These masks will be provided at any time upon request.
Returned materials will be quarantined before being put back into circulation. This means it may take a few extra days to receive materials on hold, and to see returns come off your account—thank you for your patience!
- BPL is providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all Custodial and public service staff. This includes disposable surgical masks and gloves. Masks will be required for all patrons and staff.
- EPA-certified cleaning products, hand sanitizer and soap will be available at all branches
- Wipes will be available to disinfect computers, laptops and self-service kiosks once they are available for patron use
Floor decals and signs will provide guidance on social distancing and updates on available library services.
- Desks and tables will be situated appropriately for social distancing, for both staff and patrons
- HVAC will be configured per branch layout to promote maximum fresh air circulation
Note: These plans are subject to change, based on the latest guidance from public health professionals and elected officials.