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Queens Public Library to Reopen Some Branches Next Month

Queens Public Library branch in Ridgewood (Google Maps)

June 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Queens Public Library will reopen some of its branches next month as New York City begins to return to pre-coronavirus normalcy.

Six to eight branches in the borough will open for pick up and drop off services in mid-July, with more to follow, President and CEO of Queens Public Library Dennis Walcott said.

The library shut all of its 66 branches on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic and will reopen the branches to the public in stages. The locations of the first six to eight branches have not yet been disclosed.

“As we learn from the initial branch reopenings, we will gradually open other locations and expand services,” Walcott said in a statement.

Library visitors will be able to drop off books to return and pick up materials requested in advance at the branches, but will not be permitted to browse shelves or use public computers.

Each branch building will undergo extensive cleaning before reopening and staff members will reconfigure the space to meet social distancing guidelines.

All visitors and staff members will be required to wear masks. Staff members will also provide masks to those without one.

All returned books and items will be set aside and “quarantined” for a period of time before they are placed back onto shelves. Book donations will not be accepted.

Public programming and events will remain cancelled, but Queens Public Library will increase its virtual and online programs and resources.

“We will continue to increase our collection of ebooks and other digital resources, and to offer virtual programs, services, activities, and events on our social media channels and other platforms,” Walcott said.

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Dietmar Detering

IMO, the libraries could have continued their lending operation throughout the pandemic through the online ordering and pick-up business. Returned material could have been quarantined until knowledge about viability of the virus was established (we now know that the virus does not retain viability for more than a few days on paper, and other surfaces could be wiped down and/or quarantining could have been extended.) None of this was apparently even discussed, instead Amazon is making record profits and education-starved children suffer even more. Adding insult to injury: All lights, all monitors, and all computers were left “on” throughout the libraries closure, at least as far as I have observed at the Woodside library and occasionally at others, too. Why the waste of energy and wear and tear on equipment? (Some help: There is a free book and other media exchange at the corner of Skillman Ave and 43rd ST, on weekends)

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Book lover

What time is the free book and other media exchange on Skillman Ave.& 43rd St. on the weekends? I didn’t know about this and will definitely stop by this weekend. I’m getting desperate for new books to read and I’m really getting tired of e-books.

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Dietmar Detering

I doubt it’s happening on rainy days, but otherwise perhaps from 9-9 on weekends? Sometimes there’s stuff on weekdays, too.

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Book lover

What good will libraries being open be if you can’t browse the shelves for something to read?

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SuperWittySmitty

With these restrictions (which make sense) they should be able to open now, or at least next week. I need my Sunnyside library back, now!

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SuperWittySmitty

Actually, no. It’s far more concerning as an aerosol; surface-born contamination poses a very low risk. Inform yourself and you will avoid false proclamations like this one.

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Normal paper, yes

But this is a library. The pages in books and periodicals are passed round. God knows where the people who have touched them have been!

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Defund the DNC

I guess the libraries won’t be serving as cooling off centers as the weather gets hotter.

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