With COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing in the Bay Area, the Palo Alto City Library is continuing to take steps to protect community health. The Library is monitoring service levels in light of the pandemic and current and potential staffing limitations. As service changes are made, updates will be posted to the Current Library Services web page. To limit in-person interactions, please consider handling service needs online.
Starting Tuesday, January 18, the following service level adjustments will be implemented and are subject to change as conditions evolve:
Children’s, College Terrace & Downtown Libraries will be temporarily closed:
Holds will no longer be sent to these locations for pick-up effective Friday, January 14
After January 18, customers with current holds ready for pick-up at Downtown and College Terrace Libraries can pick up their holds on Thursday, January 20 and Friday, January 21 between 1–5 PM at these locations. No other library access or service will be available at these locations—just hold pickups!
Effective January 18, all holds ready for pick-up at Children’s Library will be automatically transferred to Rinconada Library for pick-up
After January 21, holds not picked up at Downtown Library will be transferred to Rinconada Library, and holds not picked up at College Terrace Library will be transferred to Mitchell Park Library for pick-up
Items can still be returned at these locations while they are temporarily closed
Rinconada Library will reduce hours to Wednesday to Saturday from 12–6 PM
Mitchell Park Library hours will remain in place at this time
Both Rinconada and Mitchell Park libraries will make some changes in their buildings to allow for social distancing and limited stays:
Additional seating will be removed at both locations to allow for social distancing and limited visits
Study rooms will remain closed
No outside food or drink will be allowed inside to prevent unmasking
Some public PCs will be unavailable. Public WiFi, copy machines, wireless printing and scanning services will be available, but staff assistance will be limited
Staffing is limited due to vacancies and remote work, so wait times for assistance and holds may be longer
Customers are encouraged to keep their visits to about 45 minutes
Masks are still required for all visitors 3 years and up regardless of vaccination status. Please make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth before entering the Library. Masks are available at the front desk, if needed.
We understand the challenges these changes may bring to our customers. We appreciate your patience during this difficult time. Since reopening in May 2021, the Library has been short-staffed, due to budget limitations and recruitment challenges, and has worked hard to provide services at all five locations. We will continue to work with the City and County to determine when it will be safe to resume services and reopen all of our branches.
We look forward to continuing to serve you as we manage these uncertain times together.