Mayor reopens libraries with in-person services increased digital access – Continuing a phased reopen of City services prioritizing the health and…

Posted: October 3, 2020 at 4:54 am

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San Diego Community News Group

Continuing a phased reopen of City services prioritizing the health and safety of San Diegans and employees, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today announced that San Diego Public Libraries would reopen Saturday, Oct. 3, for the first time since mid-March.

A dozen libraries will reopen to the public in a limited capacity accompanied by a new program SD Access4All targeted at bridging the digital divide while maintaining existing COVID-19 programs and practices.

Our libraries offer San Diegans a treasure trove of resources, whether its access to health information, distance learning, job searching or even just a book to pass the time, and we need them now more than ever, Faulconer said. Were reopening our libraries with health and safety as the top priority while also expanding digital access to give residents more opportunities as we get through this pandemic together.

Library locations will reopen in a limited 25% capacity beginning Oct. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The facilities will close for cleaning from 1 to 2 p.m. daily and frequently touched areas will be cleaned hourly and after each usage. Everyone will be required to wear face coverings, have their temperature taken and practice physical distancing when possible.

Our libraries have been closed since March 13 and, although we have added pickup service and virtual programming, there is no substitute for welcoming patrons into our buildings, said Library Director Misty Jones. That is why I am so excited that we are opening 12 of our library locations starting Oct. 3. While we are offering limited services when we reopen, our staff will be working diligently to expand services as quickly and safely as possible.

In order to protect the health and safety of staff and guests some services may be limited or modified by staff, including time limits for computer use. A full list of in-person rules and requirements can be found on the San Diego Public Library website.

The following library locations will resume in-person services:

The City continuesto prioritize the safety of all staff and guests as we fight through this pandemic, which is why were opening in a phased and thoughtful way, saidJoel Day, the Citys senior advisor for COVID-19 Response and Recovery. With enhanced sanitation protocols for every building, cleaning all equipment after each interaction, enforcing physical distancing and requiring face coverings, we have a plan that will allow residents to access these public resources while staying safe and healthy.

With the pandemic shedding light on the urgency of tackling the digital divide, Faulconer also announced SD Access4All a new initiative aimed at tackling digital inequity by expanding broadband access in San Diego. An estimated 53,000 San Diegans lack access to reliable internet, a resource that has proven vital for distance learning, employment opportunities and access to public health information.

The program creates patio areas at select library locations to offer free WiFi and plastic-coated laptop computers for public use in a physically distanced setting. Capacity and cleaning requirements for the in-person reopening will also apply to all SD Access4All locations. While additional locations are currently being retrofitted for this program, these services are currently offered at the following locations:

In May under the first reopening phase, City libraries began a contact-free pickup service at some library locations. Now as the City enters the second phase, contact-free pick-up services will be maintained at 24 City libraries. To continue to provide services for San Diegans during the pandemic, San Diego Public Library moved many of its resources online for San Diegans to enjoy and share from home, including:

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Mayor reopens libraries with in-person services increased digital access - Continuing a phased reopen of City services prioritizing the health and...

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October 3rd, 2020 at 4:54 am

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