Cleveland Public Library Reopens Buildings To Visitors

The exterior of Cleveland Public Library's main entrance.
The library's buildings have been mostly closed to the public since the coronavirus sparked shutdowns in March. [Gayle S. Putrich / ideastream]
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The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) is reopening its doors to the public Monday, though restrictions will be in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The library is limiting visits to one hour and 15 minutes per person. Masks are required inside the building. The restrictions are necessary to maintain safety, said CPL’s Assistant Director of Public Services Robin Wood.

“We know people like to come in for a long period of time, they like to hang out in the library, and we wish they could spend more time with us on a regular basis,” Wood said. “But because of COVID, we’re just going to have to limit that time.”

Computers are available for public use, with more space between them to accommodate social distancing, Wood said. But visitors will only be permitted to use those computers for up to an hour at a time. Additional computers will be available in the lobby for 15-minute intervals, Wood said.

Visitors can reserve up to two computer time slots in advance each week, Wood said.

“We’ll continue to look at what will work for different groups of people as we move through what’s happening in the community and we move through what’s happening with COVID,” Wood said.

Programming, including job and legal assistance, story time and kindergarten prep, will continue virtually. Curbside and walkup service will still be available at CPL branches, Wood said, and masks will be available onsite for visitors who do not have their own. The first hour of daily operation at the library will be reserved for immunocompromised visitors.

“Our staff is here to serve the public, and we’re just excited to be back serving the public again,” Wood said.

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