Libraries will implement CDC safety guidelines, including mask usage and social distancing.

Amid restaurants and retailers lifting restrictions, public libraries are the next to open their doors following COVID-19 closures. Starting June 29, D.C. Public Library will open eight branches for limited indoor service. Patrons will be able to use the computers and return and check out library materials. D.C. is currently in phase two of its reopening plan, which allows libraries and museums to open at limited capacity, as well as small events of up to 50 people.

The branches will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a break in-between to clean the premises. Residents can look forward to visiting the following branches next week:

  •     Anacostia (Ward 8)
  •     Benning (Ward 7)
  •     Cleveland Park (Ward 3)
  •     Mount Pleasant (Ward 1)
  •     Northeast (Ward 6)
  •     Shepherd Park (Ward 4)
  •     West End (Ward 2)
  •     Woodridge (Ward 5)

Safety guidelines for patrons to follow will be implemented upon opening, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Computers will be limited at the start and resources like reading rooms and browsing shelves will be closed off until a later date.

dc public library

Courtesy of DC Public Library

In addition, six more branches will open July 6 for outdoor returns:  Bellevue (Ward 8), Capitol View (Ward 7), Francis-Gregory (Ward 7), Petworth (Ward 4), Shaw (Ward 6), Tenley-Friendship (Ward 3). They'll open for extended services on July 13 with the same hours listed above.

Public libraries in the DMV have been slowly resuming operations as the region relaxes stay-at-home orders. Baltimore County libraries reopened its book drop-offs on June 15 while Fairfax County is offering curbside pickup at its branches.

Despite the mass closures, one thing's for certain—people can't get enough of the library. According to DCPL executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan, over 7,000 new library cards have been issued and 300,000 books have been checked out since March!

What do you think of D.C.'s public libraries reopening? Will you be utilizing their services? Let us know in the comments!