NEW YORK (WABC) -- All New York Public Library locations will be closed to the public beginning on Saturday, March 14 through at least Tuesday, March 31.
Friday, March 13 will be the last day that patrons can pick up holds or borrow books until library locations reopen.
The library said they made this decision to support the overall health and wellness of the communities and for the safety of their patrons and staff. "It was a difficult decision, as we care deeply about serving the public, but the responsible thing to do-and the best way to serve our patrons right now-is to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. While we have been proud to stay open to serve the public amid storms and other emergencies, the best way we can serve our patrons now is to help contain the virus, especially as our patrons include many seniors and others at high risk," said Anthony W. Marx, President of the New York Public Library.
The Library is taking steps to support our patrons as much as possible during this temporary closure:
- All late fees will be suspended and due dates extended during the closure period.
- The Library is working to expand access to e-books and increase awareness of our vast array of online resources. For example, New Yorkers can sign up for a library card to read e-books on our SimplyE app, use research databases, and much more.
- Patrons can access the Library's Census resources online.
- All branches will be sanitized before they reopen.
- Ask NYPL virtual reference will be available and answering any questions.
Brooklyn and Queens libraries have yet to announce any changes.
New Yorkers can call the State hotline at 1-888-364-3065, where experts from the Department of Health can answer questions regarding the novel coronavirus.