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Rochester public libraries to reopen Monday


Select Rochester Public Libraries will reopen Monday, the library system announced.

While some suburban branches have already reopened to the public for very limited services during the pandemic, the city's libraries have remained closed.
The Rochester Public Library's Rundel building - FILE PHOTO
  • The Rochester Public Library's Rundel building

The Central Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, while all branch libraries will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, closed on Friday.

The library system’s Associate Director Adam Traub said the plan is to roll out the reopenings slowly, starting with larger libraries in order to enforce social distancing guidelines.

“Some of our branch libraries are rather small and enforcing social distancing would be rather tricky,” said Traub. “We’re going to try with some of our branches where they’re the safest and the easiest to maintain social distancing guidelines and follow other CDC and Monroe County Department of Health recommendations.”

Visitors will be required to get their temperatures checked and fill out an assessment on how they feel. Masks and social distancing will also be musts. Plexiglas has been installed at checkout desks and furniture and computers have been rearranged to keep people farther from each other.

Smaller branches like Charlotte, Monroe, Douglass and several others will only offer curbside service. Traub said reopening buildings with precautions is a step toward normalcy.

“Our hope is as we roll out our services slowly and cautiously that we can ramp back up to offering that experience of a library that we offered before the pandemic,” said Traub.

Services will vary by branch as follows:

Curbside Pickup Only: Charlotte, Sully, Wheatley, Lyell, Monroe and Douglass
In-person Browsing, Research, and Selected Services: Arnett, Maplewood, Winton, Lincoln and the Central Library.

The Rundel Building of the Central Library will remain closed, however, research and exhibit access will be available by appointment only.

James Brown is a reporter for WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at