The Dover Public Library is ready to resume limited in person services starting on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021. The library will be open for four hours a day, five days a week. Hours of operation will be Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM, and Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 PM to 6 PM. Patrons will be able to come in and browse, check out items, visit the children’s library or the teen loft, or use the library’s computers to access the internet or print. Computer use will be limited to one hour per person per day, to make sure computers are available for everyone who needs one. The passport center will be open for business, as will the Friends of the Library Book Sale in the front lobby.
“We are excited to be able to welcome people back to the building,” said Library Director Brian Sylvester. “It’s been a long road and we aren’t at the end yet, but this is an important step.” The library has been closed to the public since November, offering access only to the lobby for visitors to pick up holds they had placed by phone or online. Over the summer, the library offered a popular “curbside pickup” service that gave patrons access to the library’s collections even though the building was closed.
“For the safety or our staff and the community, we will be enforcing the mask mandate as well as social distancing. If at any time the conditions are not deemed safe, our security personnel will encourage compliance or simply remove people from the building. The only way for all of us to enjoy the library is if everyone practices safety.”
“Our hope is that as the spring progresses and more and more Delawareans are vaccinated, we will be able to expand our hours and remove restrictions,” Sylvester said. The library’s many meeting rooms, for example, will remain closed for the time being. “There is a higher risk of transmission in those types of small, enclosed spaces,” Sylvester said. “That service will be one of the last things we add back in.”
Although the building will be available for visitors, the library’s many programs will remain virtual for the time being. Library staff is hoping to move programs outside once the weather warms.