Libraries begin their process of reopening

Drive-thru meals and other necessities offered as well

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Fresh produce distribution at the St. Louis County Library in 2020.

The St. Louis County Library is reopening all 20 of its branches in phases, with all locations currently open by 45-minute appointments as of March 23.

Appointments are available for browsing and computer use, and the number of patrons allowed in the library branches at one time will be limited. Properly worn masks, covering nose and mouth, will be required of anyone 5 years of age or older to enter the library, and “additional safety guidelines will be in place to keep patrons and employees safe,” the library said. Free masks will be given out for anyone who does not have one.

You can schedule appointments by visiting www.slcl.org/library-visits or calling 314-994-3300.

The Jefferson County Library is now open for limited hours and curbside, viewable on its website at jeffcolib.org.

St. Louis County Library branches have been open for curbside only after an initial shutdown a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then a reopening in June, then closing again in July after a number of COVID-19 cases.

The curbside service has been popular, and the library said that it will still be available even as branches reopen. The contact-free service allows patrons to pick up library items and printouts at all 20 SLCL locations. Visit www.slcl.org/curbside for more information. Curbside hours are 1-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

While library buildings were closed, SLCL staff provided over 332,000 curbside service transactions for patrons to pick up library materials, printouts and curbside bundles.

Patrons wanting to use the computer can sign up for 45-minute slots at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon Monday through Saturday. Appointments start on the hour and end at the 45-minute mark to allow time for cleaning after each use, so appointments cannot be extended. Each appointment includes access to one computer if needed and includes up to two adults plus children.

Drive-thru meals, emergency diapers and period products will still be available at select branches. Visit www.slcl.org/drive-thru-distribution for details. Drive-thru meals are currently being distributed in South County at the Cliff Cave and Weber Road branches, and so far, the library and Operation Food Search have distributed 1 million meals during the pandemic. Period products are available at the Weber Road Library.

“We are so happy to welcome patrons inside our library buildings. We have stayed connected in so many creative ways during the last year but seeing people inside the branches will be amazing,” said SLCL Director and CEO Kristen Sorth in a news release.

Many libraries across the country have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to reopen in March was made in tandem by 12 St. Louis-area library districts across the region.