Reopening RI Libraries

Last Update: July 21, 2020
Current Status: Phase III

Your Rhode Island public libraries are working hard to to restore library services around the state with appropriate safety precautions. The reopening plans are based on guidance from the Office of Library and Information Services and the Reopening RI state plan. 

Important Links

Throughout All Phases

Please observe state guidelines including the use of face masks and social distancing.  Please also observe related signage posted at your library for the health and safety of yourself and others.  Libraries appreciate your patience and help as services are safely restored to Rhode Islanders!

Phase I: Testing the Water

  • Library buildings remain closed to the public.
  • Most libraries launch contactless/curbside pickup of pre-ordered books and other items.
  • Virtual services and programs continue.

Phase II: Navigating the Way

  • Many library buildings will open limited hours for in-library pickup and to allow limited browsing.
  • Some libraries may begin offering public computer use by appointment, if it can be done safely and with social distancing in place.
  • Library users may once again place a limited number of holds in the online library catalog.
  • Summer Reading Programs launch with virtual library programs and online reading trackers.
  • Contactless / curbside pickup continues at many libraries.
  • Virtual services and programs continue.

Phase III: Picking Up Speed

  • Library buildings are open with limited browsing and public computer use.
  • Some libraries may begin to offer limited library programs in large indoor or outdoor spaces.
  • The limit on the number of holds per cardholder increases.
  • Virtual services and programs continue.

Beyond Phase III: Anchored

  • Library buildings return to normal operating hours with controls in place.  Access to some areas of the building may continue to be restricted.
  • Access to public computers and other technologies expands with distancing and heightened cleaning practices.
  • Other in-person programs and services expand where safe.
  • The limit on the number of holds per cardholder increases.
  • Virtual services and programs continue.

The Reopening RI Libraries plan was developed by a statewide task force with representatives from the Office of Library and Information Services, the Library Board of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Library Association, Ocean State Libraries and libraries throughout Rhode Island.