New Castle, DE – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced today the County’s comprehensive strategy for the re-opening of county’s 15 libraries. The strategy will carefully follow county, state and federal health guidelines as well as best practices established by national library organizations. Select libraries will open on Monday, April 12.
“We are very excited to re-open library doors to our guests,” said County Executive Meyer. “It’s been a long year without our libraries, and I am so proud of the ways our libraries and librarians have continued to serve our public throughout the pandemic, and now it’s time to welcome them back.”
Select in-person services will be available two and half days a week per branch. Schedule for each branch is posted HERE. Patrons will be able to browse the New Materials collection, checkout materials, place and pick up holds, and register for library cards. Libraries will also offer public computer and printer use with a focus on adult patrons who may be lacking Internet access. As a result of limited building capacity and computer spacing needs, users are encouraged to call their local library Monday through Saturday to schedule an appointment in advance. Computer appointments will be scheduled in 45-minute intervals to allow for cleaning between patron sessions. During this re-opening stage, in-person programs will not be held in libraries and meeting rooms and study rooms will not be available to the public for reservation.
“We’re very much looking forward to returning to serve our customers inside our buildings,” said Marcus Henry, general manager of New Castle’s General Services department. “We’re making safety for our staff and guests a top priority so we can continue to expand services to our customers.”
“As difficult as this past year has been, we are very grateful to our patrons for their support of the services we were able to deliver during the pandemic,” said Diana Brown, New Castle County’s Manager of Libraries. “From implementation in mid-June through March, curbside delivery provided almost 700,000 items to patrons. Now, as we transition back to normal operations over the coming months, we look forward to seeing all the faces we have missed.”
This is the first phase of re-opening and as vaccination eligibility expands, County officials expect in-person hours to be added accordingly. Approximately half of New Castle County library staff have received their first vaccination.
All New Castle County libraries will continue to offer free wireless broadband Internet service in their parking lots, as well as introduce a new service provided through a grant from the Delaware Division of Libraries for checkout of Chromebooks and Hotspots to library patrons.
NEW CASTLE COUNTY LIBRARY RE-OPENING SAFETY AND SECURITY POLICIES
• Air filters will be replaced every 6 weeks.