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PHOTOS: Midday cleaning closures & quarantined books: What D.C. libraries look like now

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 7/3/2020 Kellye Lynn, ABC7

Wendy Sharpe was one of the first to step inside the West End Neighborhood Library in Northwest when it reopened.

For her, being at the library is like being at a community center.

"You can do yoga, you can do meditation, computer services. it's just a wonderful place to be," she said.

On June 29, libraries at Anacostia, Benning, Cleveland Park, Mount Pleasant, Northeast, Shepherd Park, West End, and Woodridge opened their doors for the first time since the middle of March.

"It is very limited right now," said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. "We are being extremely cautious with how we reopen."

Reyes-Gavilan says locations are offering controlled entry to limit the number of people inside at once. Customers can pick up or drop off books and use remote printing services as well as on site printing and computers.

He also explained how libraries are "quarantining" books.

"When you return your book to the library that book is not going back on the shelf immediately,"  he said. "It is actually sitting alone for three days."

Visitors are expected to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

As for hours, on weekdays libraries are open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Facilities are closed from 2 to 3 p.m. for cleaning.

Sharpe appreciates the extra cleanliness and describes her first visit back to the library as smooth.

"If you needed hand sanitizer that was there. So it was painless and seamless. They were making sure everybody was comfortable and safe," she said.

On July 13 libraries at Bellevue, Capitol View, Francis-Gregory, Petworth, Shaw and Tenley-Friendship will also reopen with the same services and requirements.

Customers can return books outside at those locations starting July 6.


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