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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Cleveland Public Library Begins Reopening, Curfew Delays Downtown Service

The Cleveland Public Library was scheduled to reopen to the public Monday for limited services. But staff have been instructed not to report to the Main Library, Sterling or Carnegie West branches due to the curfew order by Mayor Frank Jackson affecting downtown to W. 25th St.

Phone lines at all other locations are open Monday for calls regarding holds, reference questions and general inquiries. Materials currently checked out can be returned, and will be quarantined for 72 hours before being recirculated.

“It’ll be a little different, just like it is everywhere,” said CPL Director of Public Services John Skrtic. “But we’re asking that you show the library some love by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, staying home if you’re sick.”

It’s not clear when the buildings will fully open.

Walk-up or curbside service is expected to begin June 8 at select branches, Skrtic said. That includes the Main Library, the Louis Stokes Wing and five neighborhood branches: Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial-Nottingham, Rice, Rockport and South Brooklyn. Phone lines and mail circulation for the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD), operated by CPL, have been up and running since May 27.

“We don’t have an exact date when we’re going to open back up the buildings,” Skrtic said. “We want to just kind of make sure everyone gets back, and do this in a fashion that keeps everyone safe and healthy.”

Items can be reserved online or by phone using a library card. Patrons must then call ahead and schedule a pickup time, and call to alert staff to their arrival. All items will be placed in a plastic bag and either placed in the patron’s car or on a pick-up table.

Library branches will operate with reduced hours under the reopening plan: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, and closed Saturdays and Sundays.

CPL’s Eastman Reading Garden also is expected to open to the public June 8, Skrtic said, with social distancing guidelines in place.

“We have the downtown community come and sit there, they can enjoy their books and enjoy their lunches,” Skrtic said.

The library is working with technical staff to determine how to allow visitors to borrow electronic devices while in the garden, he said. The garden also provides access to the library’s WiFi.

Registration is open for virtual programming in place of CPL's regular in-person options. That includes tutoring, legal assistance and health programs.

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