Arlington, VA

(Updated 6/8) Arlington Public Library is preparing to start allowing pickups for books, but the staggered reopening will not immediately resemble the pre-pandemic library experience

The first step towards reopening will be a book pick-up from the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).

“Starting mid-June, Arlington Public Library will offer a walk-in/walk-out service for hold pickups and book bundles in the auditorium at Central Library,” Diane Kresh, Director of the Arlington Public Library said. “Operating hours for the holds pickup service are being decided and we will communicate details as we have them. Computers, self-check stations, and meeting rooms will not be available for use.”

“All branch locations will remain closed,” Kresh added. “Returns will be accepted via book drop at all branches.”

Both patrons and staff will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing at all times when inside the library building.

Arlington Public Library will continue its annual Summer Reading Challenge, Kresh said, though this year the program will be fully digital. Kresh said more details about that program will be forthcoming this week.

Arlington READS continues virtually,” Kresh said. “In June, we will host a conversation with Brooke Gladstone, journalist, author, media analyst, and co-host and managing editor of the WNYC radio program ‘On the Media.’ And in October, we are thrilled to present Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Colson Whitehead (‘The Underground Railroad’ and ‘The Nickel Boys’). Stay tuned for details; both programs promise to be lively and engaging.”

Kresh said she knows that the planned reopening is not the kind of library experience many Arlington residents are hoping to return to.

“We recognize there is no replacement for an in-person, full-service library experience,” Kresh said. “Over the years, the staff and I have been honored to serve the community of Arlington and have always tried to strike a balance between the high tech of our digital content and the high touch of our popular story times and author events. We cherish the relationships we have developed with each one of you and look forward to better times. Please know that we are thinking of all of you and that together, we will get through this.”

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