Wednesday, May 13, 2020 Allison Denny

On May 18, 2020, the Arlington Public Library is excited to reopen select locations at reduced capacity. The Northeast, East Arlington, Southeast and Lake Arlington Branches will be open for in-person service from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Library’s other three locations will continue to offer curbside service only.

“We have thoughtfully selected these branches based on their geographic locations across the City of Arlington,” says Director of Libraries Norma Zuñiga.

Each branch will be open for 25% of its regular occupancy load. To ensure everyone’s safety and to monitor the number of people in each location, the Library will begin its reopening with an appointment-based model. Patrons can call (817) 459-6900 to schedule a one-hour appointment to use the Library. The Library will also take walk-ins as  occupancy allows.

Reopening builds upon curbside options and expands many services to the community. The following options will be available again:

  • Browsing books to check out
  • Returning large items such as kits
  • Public computer access (one hour per patron per day) for adults
  • Free Wi-fi
  • Copying, faxing and scanning
  • Remote printing

Curbside service will still be available at all locations. Patrons can still request items for curbside pick up at the Northeast, East Arlington, Southeast and Lake Arlington Branches, even while these locations are open for in-person service.

“Our Libraries provide vital resources and we are happy to restore access to our community,” says Zuñiga. “We do encourage our patrons to consider public health and to be efficient in their visits, limiting Library trips to an hour if possible.”

Some Library services will be limited during the initial reopening. To maintain safe distances between patrons and staff, the following services will remain unavailable:

  • Meeting and community rooms
  • Help with computers or other technology including the fax and copy machines
  • In-person events and programs
  • Children's computers
  • Children’s toys and other manipulatives
  • Breaking large bills

Library staff will be following guidance from the Arlington Fire Department and City of Arlington Public Health Authority to provide a safe environment. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned multiple times each day. Protective items such as gloves and hand sanitizer will be available to patrons while supplies last.

Library patrons and staff are encouraged to wear masks. 

Library facilities have also been updated to ensure safety. Clear plexiglass dividers have been installed at staff desks. Where necessary to maintain a safe distance between people, furniture has been rearranged or put into temporary storage. Only a limited number of public computers will be available at once, with ample space between each station.

“We strive to keep everyone as safe as possible while offering our best service. We’re looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming our patrons back,” says Zuñiga. Call (817) 459-6900 to schedule a visit or to learn more.