Erie County Public Library announces phased reopening plan to begin June 1


Sheryl Thomas

Erie, PA –The Erie County Public Library will begin a phased reopening process Monday, June 1.

In preparation for the reopening, the library is installing protective equipment at all service desks, offering additional hand sanitizing stations, and moving furniture in the facilities to encourage social distancing among staff and, eventually, patrons.

All library materials that were checked out prior to the COVID-19 related closure will have an extended due date of July 1. No fines or late fees have been issued for those materials unable to be returned during the pandemic. Patrons may find updated due dates and outstanding items listed in their account at

The Erie County Public Library will follow a tiered reopening, adding additional services at two-week intervals to allow time for monitoring and adjustments if necessary:

  • June 1:            All furloughed staff return to work.
  • June 3:            Library begins to offer reference services to patrons via phone and email; patrons may begin to return checked-out materials at all locations via external book drop. Returned items will be quarantined in accordance with Office of Commonwealth Libraries guidelines for safe materials handling to allow any potential virus contamination to dissipate. Facilities remain closed to the public.
  • June 15:          Curbside service is offered to the public. Facilities remain closed to the public. Patrons are able to reserve items for pickup by calling or using the online catalog at Holds are limited to 10 items per card.
  • June 29:          Lobby service opens to patrons with continued hold pickup and limited browsing.
  • July 13:           Library facilities reopen for most in-person patron services as allowed by local, state and national guidelines.

“In compliance with all guidelines, we are excited to begin the process of gradually reopening our library locations to ensure we protect all of our staff and patrons as much as possible,” said Blane Dessy, director of Erie County Public Library. “We want everyone to enjoy the library and to be assured that all health precautions are being taken.”

Other independent public libraries of Erie County (Waterford, McCord, Albion, Rice Avenue, Union City, and Corry) will also offer curbside pickup beginning Monday, June 15, and have adopted the same July 1 due date for all outstanding materials.

Contact the libraries directly for their hours of operation and any service-related questions.


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