After nearly four months of closure, Yonkers Public Library (YPL) is excited to reopen its doors to the public.
This is an important milestone in the resumption of full library services, but the reopened YPL will be very different than it was before closing. In order to keep the public and staff safe and healthy – so that the library can remain open – YPL has made changes to its physical facilities, operations, services, collections, technology and policies. Understanding these changes will help you have a better experience when you visit the library. Most important to note is that not all services, collections, or technology will be available on July 13th. You can view our phased reopening plan here.
Our reopening plans are responsive to local and state guidance and are subject to change.
Reopening Hours of Service (effective July 13)
Until we have a full recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak we are reducing hours to allow us more time to keep our buildings and collections clean and safe. Once in-branch service begins we will end contact free pickup service at Riverfront Library and Will Library. Due to its limited size and the difficulty of instituting social distancing, the Crestwood Library’s in-branch hours need to be greatly reduced but they will offer additional contact free pickup hours. The hours of service, effective July 13, are listed to the right. Learn more about contact free pickup on the Crestwood page.
To help us maintain social distancing in our locations we must greatly reduce their occupancy. The following limits will be in effect until further notice:
Crestwood Library: 10 (including small children)
Riverfront Library: 60 (not including small children accompanied by an adult)
Will Library: 50 (not including small children accompanied by an adult)
Patrons that visit the library when it has already reached capacity will be expected to wait (six feet apart) until other patrons exit the library to gain entry. Once inside the library, patrons that are not actively engaged in accessing library collections or services may be asked to leave the building so that others can enter.
As a result of these occupancy limits we strongly recommend that non-family groups of five or more – including camps, adult day services, and daycare providers – avoid making library visits, or check ahead before doing so.
When we first reopen, our main service will be to provide access to our collections. We are not yet ready to host events, study sessions, or computer access. Please help us keep staff and other patrons safe by observing the following rules:
- Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This is in accordance with New York State Executive Order 202.17. Visitors will not be permitted to enter the library without one, and will be expected to wear it throughout the visit.
- Staying home if you’re experiencing symptoms of any illness. Patrons exhibiting flu-like symptoms, including excessive coughing or sneezing, may be asked to leave the building to protect the health of others.
- Maintaining at least six feet of distance from staff and patrons whenever possible.
- Keeping your visits short. Although we are happy to see our patrons again, lengthy conversations can hold up circulation and increase risk of transmission. We are still available for reference and account help via email and telephone.
- Listening to the instructions of library and security staff.
A temporary code of conduct has been approved by YPL’s Board of Trustees. You can review it here. This code of conduct is temporary, and may be revised based on changing health and safety guidelines. Unless they are specifically modified or revoked in the temporary code of conduct, all other policies from the permanent Library Code of Conduct remain in effect.
We’ve made significant changes to our buildings to facilitate social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols. Please be advised that the libraries you return to may look different than they did before we closed.
- Most seats have been removed to facilitate social distancing. Chairs should not be moved from their designated tables.
- Water fountains have been turned off, per the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health.
- Use of study rooms and non-collection spaces are restricted to the public until further notice.
- Plexiglass screens have been installed at service points to protect staff and patrons.
- Restrooms have been repaired or upgraded for easier cleaning.
- YPL’s professional custodial staff deep cleaned our building prior to reopening and have instituted enhanced cleaning procedures.
We are changing the way we handle library materials to keep our staff and patrons safe. That means the way you browse, checkout and return materials will change too.
- At the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) we are quarantining all library materials returned by patrons for 72 hours.
- That means when you return materials they should be deposited into the book drop or a return bin and not handed over to library staff. If you check your online account returned materials will still be shown as checked out for an additional three days.
- To account for quarantine periods we are waiving all late fees for up to seven days past the due date.
- Please also expect a longer wait time to process holds due to quarantine periods.
- Our checkout desks have been reconfigured to allow patrons to scan their library cards and the book barcodes. We encourage patrons to scan for themselves to limit staff handling of cards and books. If staff assistance is required it will be provided.
- At the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health we are discontinuing access to newspapers and magazines for browsing. Patrons can check out periodicals if they wish to read them.
- Equipment loan programs (telescopes, American Girl dolls, blood pressure monitoring kits) are suspended until further notice.
- We encourage you to raise account-related questions or issues over the phone.
- We currently have limited access to public computers for adults. View our temporary public computer service plan.
- Once public computers are reactivated patrons will be required to wear gloves while using them. Latex gloves will be provided.
- Once public computers are reactivated we will limit patrons to one 30 minute session per day.
- Printing will be free for up to 20 pages a day.
- Guest passes will be eliminated until further notice. All patrons will be able to qualify for a “computer only” card without providing proof of residence.
- In-person library programs will not be offered immediately upon reopening. We will continue to offer virtual programs through ypl.org.
- Donations of books and other materials are suspended until further notice.
- Library book sales are suspended until further notice.
- Once it is considered safe to host programs and events we will, with an emphasis on health, social service, and economic and job development programs.