Cleveland Public Library reopens with COVID-19 strategies in place

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Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 2:54 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Public Library has released a plan to reopen to the public in phases, and with limited service.

“We’d like to thank our patrons for their patience during this unprecedented time. We miss you and can’t wait to see you back at Cleveland Public Library,” said Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library.

On Wednesday, May 27, staff at the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD), which is operated by Cleveland Public Library, will be available to answer phone calls from patrons.

Mail circulation for OLBPD will also resume.

On Monday, June 1, phone lines will be open at all Library locations.

Library staff will be available to take calls about holds, reference questions, and general Library information.

Patrons can sign up for virtual programming and services.

Patrons can return borrowed materials to the book drops.

Library hours will temporarily change until further notice.


  • Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

On Monday, June 8, curbside and walk-up service will begin at Main Library, the Louis Stokes Wing, and five neighborhood branches:


  • Main Library, Drive-Up Window Only
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch
  • Memorial-Nottingham Branch
  • Rice Branch
  • Rockport Branch
  • South Brooklyn Branch
  • Louis Stokes Wing, Walk-Up Service Only

All other Library branches remain closed with reference service available by phone.

Here is a step-by-step guide to curbside service at Cleveland Public Library:

  • Reserve items online at or by phone with your Library card handy. Don’t know exactly what you want? Call us and we can help.
  • Call ahead to schedule a time to pick up materials.
  • How do you plan to pick up your materials: Curbside or Walk-Up Service?

For curbside pickup:

  1. Park your car in a designated spot
  2. Call the Library location to notify staff of your arrival
  3. Open your trunk or cargo area so materials can be placed inside
  4. Return to your car and be prepared to show your library card or state ID

For walk-up service:

  1. Call the Library upon arrival.
  2. Be prepared to show your Library card or photo ID.
  3. Your materials will be placed on a pick-up table.

All items will be placed in plastic Library bags for your safety.

All items will be returned to the book drop.

Service at the drive-up window at Main Library will remain the same.

The Eastman Reading Garden will be open with social distancing guidelines.

“We’ve spent two months planning our return and discussing best practices for maintaining a safe environment,” Thomas Jr. remarks. “Our staff is undergoing COVID-19 training to better serve our community and taking a phased approach to eventually welcoming patrons back into our locations.”

New social distancing guidelines will be in place when the libraries reopen and visitors should expect Llry staff to be in personal protective equipment.

Patrons should wear masks for their safety and the safety of others.

Based on guidance from the state and health authorities, returned materials will now be placed under quarantine for 72 hours to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 might forever change the Library experience, but it will never destroy the spirit of discovery and learning at Cleveland Public Library. Whether you are virtual or curbside, we encourage you to experience all the People’s University has to offer,” Thomas, Jr. said.

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