BPL to Welcome Patrons Back Into BPL Buildings

The Boston Public Library (BPL) last week announced its plans to reopen its spaces to the public. On June 1, the Central Library in Copley Square will reopen for limited in-person services, and June 14, those services will be expanded, and all branch libraries not currently under reconstruction are planned to reopen. All reopening plans follow the latest city and state public health guidance.  

“We are thrilled to have libraries across the city opening their doors next month,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “Equitable access is a foundation for my administration and we are focused on providing services that bring residents joy and improve their quality of life. These are both qualities the library offers our citizens, and I hope in the coming weeks Bostonians will visit their local libraries, explore the spaces we’ve all missed, and take advantage of all the free resources the library provides.” 

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming patrons back into our buildings, including soon to the newly renovated Roxbury and Adams Street Branches,” said BPL President David Leonard. “As difficult as it was to close our doors last March, I am proud of the innovative programming and critical resources we were able to provide Bostonians over the last year, both virtually and on a limited basis in-person. Now that it’s safe to begin reopening, we are getting ready to welcome you back and look forward to continuing the library’s mission to provide services free to all. Our top priorities in the months ahead are aiding residents in equitable economic recovery and educational advancement, along with providing summer programming for all ages.” 

Central Library in Copley Square 

Walk up services: 

Beginning on June 1, patrons will be able to browse select books in the building, while other books will be available to be pulled on demand by staff. In addition, patrons will be able to pick up holds and check out books and DVDs; spend time in the courtyard; renew their library cards; and use public computers, print, and make photocopies.  

On June 14, all remaining public floors will be open for browsing; the Children’s Library and Teen Central will open; and the Book Delivery Desk in the McKim Building will be accessible to the public. 

Services by appointment: 

Starting on June 1, patrons will be able to make appointments to use the research collections, use the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center resources, or to request one-on-one computer assistance. Appointments can be made at bpl.org/reopening or by calling 617-859-5400. 

Hours of operation: 

Starting on June 1st, the Central Library will be open Mondays: 10AM – 6PM; Tuesdays: 10AM – 6PM; Wednesdays: 10AM – 8PM; Thursdays: 10AM – 6PM; Fridays: 9AM – 5PM; Saturdays: 9AM – 5PM; Sundays: Closed. 

Branch Libraries 

The library intends to open all branches not currently under construction on June 14. Visitors will be able to pick up holds and check out books; spend time browsing; use the library’s computers for limited time slots, and print and make photocopies. Additionally, branch exterior spaces such as courtyards or reading gardens will be accessible to the public as well. 

Until branches reopen, patrons can continue to rely on the BPL To Go program to check out items from their preferred location. Once the branches have reopened, patrons will no longer need to make an appointment to retrieve their holds, and can pick up their items during open hours as normal. 

The adjusted branch hours will be made available shortly.  

Safety Requirements  

Patrons visiting any library location will be required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times, and abide by all staff instructions regarding safety.  

Visitors will not be allowed to eat or drink inside the libraries or to use meeting rooms during this initial reopening phase.  

Future Services 

The library will be reopening additional services and spaces at the Central Library in the coming weeks, such as public meeting rooms, Art and Architecture Tours, and in-person programming, as staffing levels and staffing capacity return to normal. 

Throughout the summer, programs for all ages will be available outdoors at many branch locations, from storytimes to ESL Conversation Circles. 

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