Some Hillsborough County public libraries were expected to begin reopening this week, as part of a phased reopening intended to carefully, and methodically restore services to residents, according to a county news release.
The county had planned to start restoring services on Nov. 12, but delayed that until Nov. 16, after consultation with of its health officials, emergency managers and library staff, Hillsborough County officials — due to Tropical Storm Eta.
Hillsborough County libraries have been closed to the public since late March because of concerns about potential spread of COVID-19.
Even though the buildings were closed, staff continued to offer a variety of services from the buildings. Some libraries also were used as early voting sites, but public access was not allowed to the collections and computers.
Selected spaces within nine libraries will reopen at 25% capacity, adhering to safety protocols.
The buildings again will be accessible to the public Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These are the libraries slated to reopen:
- Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, Valrico
- C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library, Tampa
- Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, Tampa
- Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa
- Maureen B. Gauzza Public Library, Tampa
- North Tampa Branch Library, Tampa
- New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., New Tampa
- SouthShore Regional Library, Ruskin
- Town ‘N Country Regional Public Library, 7606 Paula Drive, Tampa
Steps that will be taken to ensure the safety of visitors include:
- Limiting visits to one hour
- Requiring children under the age of 17 to be accompanied by a parent
- Requiring face coverings and social distancing; conducting temperature checks at the door
- Prohibiting use of study rooms, meeting rooms, makerspace and recording studios
- Continuing virtual library programs, including story times.
For information, visit HCPLC.org.
Published November 18, 2020