Reopening RI Libraries

Rhode Island public libraries are working hard on plans to reopen.  Libraries will follow a phased reopening plan based on the state plan for Reopening RI and guidance from the Office of Library and Information Services via Reopening RI Libraries.  In the coming weeks and months, libraries will slowly reintroduce services with appropriate safety precautions.  Keep reading to learn about the plan or visit the Ocean State Libraries’ Doors Closed. Lights On! page to learn about the amazing virtual programs and services available at your fingertips right now including an amazing calendar of public programs.

Please visit the library status page and your library website to learn more about your library’s reopening activities.

Current Status:  Phase II. Keep in mind that there will be variations among each library and that plans may evolve as new information is released. 

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.