New Castle County announced its plan to reopen libraries to the public next week.
Libraries statewide were closed to the public throughout most of the pandemic. Many offered curb-side pickup services, curated book bundles and virtual programming.
The pandemic also created staffing issues for libraries and new challenges like the need to quarantine materials dropped off in a book drop for 72 hours.
“We have had a lot of dislocation and disrupting to our staffing. Part of that is resignation retirement, but it’s also just what people are dealing with in their lives,” said New Castle County’s Manager of Libraries Diana Brown.
New Castle County says it is ready to re-open some of its libraries to the public Monday.
Brown says community spread, staffing shortages and CDC guidance around quarantining materials will dictate how libraries choose to open up further.
“So we’re kind of at the tipping point,” she said. “What we don’t know is how long it’s going to take for us to tip fully in the right direction.”
Starting Monday some libraries will alternate allowing browsing indoors with open computer labs. Calling ahead to computer time appointments is recommended.
Many are also adding bipolar ionization units for ventilation as well as Plexiglas barriers for staff.
New Castle County libraries will also continue to provide some curbside service on certain days during set hours.
The new schedules is below: