NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Beginning Monday, May 17, the New Orleans Public Library will expand services, including allowing patrons to come into Library buildings without making appointments.
The Library will continue to follow City health officials and CDC guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including masking and social distancing.
“We are pleased to be moving forward and taking one step closer to normalcy,” Executive Director and City Librarian Gabriel Morley said. “Our decision to reopen on May 17 was made very carefully, with input from health officials and consideration of the steady decline in the city’s COVID-19 cases and increase in vaccination rates.”
All Library locations will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, which will continue to only be open for contactless pick-up and drop-off on Monday & Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Based on recommendations from the City of New Orleans Health Department, returned materials no longer need to be quarantined before handling, which means book-drop boxes will be reopened and returned to pre-COVID use.
“The expansion of services and more general reopening of our public libraries is another important indication that the guidelines and restrictions we’ve implemented are working and that we are remaining steady on our road to recovery,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “I want to thank the New Orleans Public Library leadership for making decisions based on the recommendations of the New Orleans Health Department and keeping the health and safety front and center in serving our residents and protecting our employees.”
The Library will also resume in-person, outdoor programming, with masking and social distancing required. However, indoor, in-person programming will remain suspended at this time. The use of Library meeting rooms will also not be allowed at this time.
Until further notice, the Library will continue to offer its Contactless Pick-Up Service.
“We are committed to providing access to all. By expanding our services to allow those who want to be inside Library buildings, while continuing to offer services to those who do not, we believe we are doing just that,” Morley said.