Amid improving coronavirus conditions, all Indianapolis Public Library branches will return to fall 2020 service levels on Monday, February 15. This change will allow patrons to enter the Library for computer use, browsing, hold pickup, and self-checkout. A one-hour time limit will be enforced if a branch reaches capacity. Due to the size and unique needs of Central Library, a strict one-hour limit will continue to be enforced at that location via a badging system.
This change was approved by the Library Board after consultation with Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department. At The Library's January board meeting, Dr. Caine said she anticipates fewer COVID-19 cases because the holiday virus peak is behind us, and says the COVID positivity rate in the community is at its lowest level since late October and early November.
“Dr. Caine’s remarks about contact tracing give us confidence that libraries are not places where virus transmission is likely,” said Jackie Nytes, The Library's chief executive officer. “Our ability to offer access to computers and our vast collection of materials is seen as a way to help the mental health of those in our community who are isolated and in need of a positive escape. The consequences of this virus go beyond physical ailment, and The Library has a role in supporting the community in this way.”
Patrons may once again bring their personal laptops and electronic devices into branches to utilize the internet, though they are asked to keep visits brief to allow the next patron entry. The Library will continue to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing inside buildings, and all programming and events will remain online.
The Library will continue to evaluate its ability to maintain a safe environment for staff and patrons. Out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, Library branches may close without notice for cleaning or staffing limitations. For up-to-date information on library locations, operating hours, and current service offerings, click here.