Largo, MD – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) has provided customers with internet access, nationally recognized virtual programs, access to physical materials through Curbside Service, and essential resource distribution events. PGCMLS will begin Phase 2 of its COVID-19 Phased Reopening Plan on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 when six branch libraries will open their doors to the public for limited branch services.
Customers will be invited to enter designated branch libraries (Bowie, Laurel, New Carrollton, Oxon Hill, South Bowie, and Spauldings) by appointment to access computers, enjoy limited display browsing in lobbies, pick up holds, and print and scan documents. These branches will also continue to offer Curbside Service, which has been tremendously popular with customers who have made over 51,000 appointments since July 2020. Additional PGCMLS branches will open for limited branch services by appointment in May. The initial branches that will be open to the public are able to accommodate the largest number of customers, considering current physical distancing requirements.
“All of us at PGCMLS look forward to seeing our beloved customers back at neighborhood branch libraries now that the public health conditions are improving,” said Roberta Phillps, Chief Executive Officer of PGCMLS. “We know that customers need access to our buildings, technology, and resources to advance themselves as we collectively face the challenges and opportunities that emerged or became more extreme over the past year.”
Customers will be able to book appointments to enter designated branch libraries beginning on April 22 via pgcmls.info/reopening or by calling Ask a Librarian/Biblio Consulta at (240) 455-5451. Computer reservations will be offered in 60-minute increments and limited display browsing will be permitted for 15-minute sessions. Walk-up appointments for computer use and browsing will be available if capacity allows.
All PGCMLS card holders are encouraged to download the PGCMLS mobile app (iOS or Android). The app’s new self-checkout feature will be available to ensure that customers may remain physically distanced from staff when borrowing materials from lobby displays.
Effective April 28, the Library’s temporary hours will change to Tuesday 1-6 pm, Wednesday 1-8 pm, Thursday-Friday 1-6 pm, and Saturday 1-5 pm. These hours apply to all branches except Baden, which has hours of Wednesday-Thursday 2-6 pm and Friday 11 am-2 pm. The Mount Rainier and Surratts-Clinton branch libraries will remain closed.
The Library’s transition to Phase 2 results from careful planning and preparation by PGCMLS staff, the Board of Library Trustees, and UFCW-1994/MCGEO, which represents PGCMLS staff. While much progress has been made locally and regionally in combating COVID-19, especially with the widespread availability of vaccines, the Library will continue to observe public health directives issued by the Prince George’s County Health Department. All customers entering branches will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, required to wear face masks, and required to observe physical distancing at all times. Book stacks, meeting rooms, and study rooms will remain closed to the public at branches offering limited branch services during Phase 2.
About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike.
PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the Library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library also provides drive-up WiFi access at all branches and mobile hotspot devices. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.
As a strong community partner, the Library regularly collaborates with local government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide access to essential community services and programs. Partners include the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, Employ Prince George’s, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Prince George’s Community College. Learn more at pgcmls.info or by visiting the Largo-Kettering Branch at 9601 Capital Lane, Largo, MD 20721. Curbside Services are available Tuesday-Friday (1-6 pm) and Saturday (1-5 pm) at 16 of the Library’s branches.