We’re Back! Cleveland Public Library Ready to Reopen Its Doors – a Message from Library Executive Director, CEO Felton Thomas, Jr.

Dear Patrons and Friends of Cleveland Public Library,

We’re back! After countless internal planning meetings, reviewing guidance from state and local officials, consulting other Library systems, and conferring with local experts like MetroHealth, Cleveland Public Library is ready to reopen its doors on Monday, August 24.*

The Library’s downtown locations and 27 neighborhood branches will welcome visitors inside starting Monday, August 24 and we can’t wait. It’s been a long journey and a lot of planning to get to this moment. COVID-19 may forever change the Library experience, but our commitment to serving our community has not waivered. We’ve taken this time to think creatively about how to connect our community with needed resources and services in the safest way possible.

When our facilities reopen, visitors will notice new social distancing guidelines and Library staff in personal protective equipment. Visitors to Cleveland Public Library will be required to wear face coverings for the safety of our staff and fellow patrons. The Library will make disposable masks available to patrons should they need one. If a patron is unable to wear a mask, we will continue to offer walk-up and drive-up service, as well as print, fax, and copy services. Patrons can now receive 10 free copies and can text their local branch when they arrive.

Other changes include plexiglass on lending desks, increased cleaning of facilities, and returned materials placed under quarantine for 96 hours to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cleveland Public Library’s hours of operation are also changing with special hours designated for immunocompromised patrons.

Cleveland Public Library will monitor visitor capacity and limit visits to one-hour to allow everyone who wants to visit the Library to access our materials and resources safely. Computers will be available again. We have reconfigured computer areas for social distancing. Computer usage will be limited to one hour to allow for cleaning and more people to access the internet. Patrons are encouraged to reserve a time slot by calling their location branch and will be asked to help keep the Library clean for everyone by wiping down the area after use. All meeting rooms will remain closed for reservations.

The Library will provide virtual programs until further notice. Our offerings include job and legal assistance, health classes, online storytime, and starting this Fall, a year-round program and resources to help our littlest Clevelanders get ready for kindergarten.

I am extremely proud of our staff. During the time our doors were closed, taskforces were formed, and meetings were held virtually. During curbside service, Library staff worked tirelessly to connect each book with its reader, every copy, print, or fax with its purpose. Staff brought favorite stories to life in their living rooms and crafted displays in branch windows to continue to reach out to our neighborhoods. 

We appreciate your patience and we can’t wait to see you,

Signed: Felton Thomas, Jr.
Executive Director, CEO
Cleveland Public Library

*Reopening date is subject to change due to the pandemic.