Queens Public Library will expand services to include browsing and computer use at selected branches beginning on Monday, May 10.
Since closing its physical locations in March 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, QPL branches have been carefully and gradually reopening locations and reinstituting services across the borough to safely serve the customers who need them.
In addition to a suite of virtual programs and resources, including e-books, online story times, virtual book clubs, remote homework help, resume assistance and job search help, many of the branches began offering grab-and-go book pickup and on-site library card sign-up last July.
Beginning May 10 in select locations, patrons will be able to browse shelves for a set period of time and make appointments to use computers at select sites.
“Since we opened our branches for to-go service in July, we have gradually and thoughtfully expanded library services, putting the health and safety of our staff and our customers at the forefront of every decision we make as we look forward to fully reopen,” Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott said.
The Queens branches opening May 10 for expanded services across the borough are located in Arverne, Astoria, Auburndale, Bellerose, Cambria Heights, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Hillcrest, Long Island City, Peninsula, Queensboro Hill, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood and Rochdale Village. The branches selected were based on a number of factors, including proximity to public transportation, size, building condition, and location, with the goal of covering as much of the borough as possible.
“Libraries are essential to building a strong, fair, and equitable city, especially in the face of a global health crisis,” Walcott said. “Given the current public health conditions, the growing need for our resources and the eagerness of our staff to provide more services to the public, now is the right time to take the next step.”
All patrons must follow safety protocols, including wearing masks, social distancing and respecting time limits to ensure that as many patrons as possible can utilize services. QPL is also planning to provide outdoor programs in addition to continued virtual programs, classes, vaccination resources and more.
“I want to thank all our staff for their commitment and fortitude, our union leaders for their collaboration, and our customers and government partners for their support throughout the reopening process,” Walcott said.
The city’s other library systems, Brooklyn Public Library and The New York Public Library, are also reopening for expanded service at select locations beginning May 10.
“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the library has worked to safely offer New Yorkers the resources and services that we know they need. It has been a long, challenging year, and we are eager to restore library service to some semblance of normalcy,” New York Public Library President Anthony Marx said. “This expansion of service — including computer use, critical for patrons who do not have internet access at home — is a significant and welcome step in that direction. We will continue to work towards responsibly and carefully restoring additional services and opening additional locations over the coming weeks and months, and helping New York City through its next chapter of recovery and renewal.”