Virginia Beach Public Library to Begin Phased Reopening

Five branches to open July 20; additional four opening Aug. 10 with limited services

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

​Beginning Monday, July 20, Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) will reopen five of its 10 branches that have been closed to the public since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will be able to visit the Bayside, Central, Kempsville, Princess Anne and Wahab Public Law Library locations for limited services including browsing and checking out materials, using computers and printers, applying for library cards and picking up Summer Reading Challenge prizes.

VBPL's Great Neck, Oceanfront, Pungo-Blackwater and Windsor Woods locations will also open with limited services on Aug. 10. As part of the Tidewater Community College (TCC) campus, the TCC/City Joint-Use Library will remain closed until further notice. VBPL will continue to offer holds pickup services at these branches until the buildings reopen.

All dates and services are subject to change as needed in response to COVID-19.

"We have worked closely with Virginia Beach leadership to create a phased reopening plan focused on staff and customer safety," said Director of Libraries Eva Poole. "We have missed seeing our customers, and we know they have missed visiting the library. We're excited to begin resuming vital services that our community members need and want."

Safety Precautions
VBPL is following guidelines established by the City of Virginia Beach, the State of Virginia and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in order to ensure the safest possible environment for staff and customers:

  • Limited numbers of people will be admitted in the libraries at a time, based on building size.
  • Customers will be asked to keep visits to one hour to maximize access for all residents.
  • Staff and customers must wear masks inside libraries.
  • Signs and decals will reiterate CDC guidelines for social distancing and hand washing.
  • Spaces and furnishings inside the libraries may be unavailable, including the children's rooms at Kempsville and Princess Anne libraries and the teen room at Central Library.
  • Aisles and pathways in the buildings may be marked for one-way travel.
  • Sneeze guards are being added at customer service stations.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing practices are being implemented.

Due Dates
Due dates for the 78,000 items that customers had checked out prior to VBPL's COVID-19 closure on March 16, 2020, were extended to avoid accrual of late fees on customer accounts. Since June 8, when VBPL resumed material returns, about half of the items have been returned. These items are now due July 20. Customers will receive direct notice from the library with due dates.

Digital Services
Since closing its buildings, VBPL has offered virtual programs for all ages and increased the availability of digital materials. To find details about available programs, visit www.VBgov.com/library-events. To browse VBPL's collection of e-books and digital music, movies, magazines and more, visit www.VBgov.com/digital-library.

About Virginia Beach Public Library
Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music, magazines and movies in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit www.VBgov.com/libraries for more information.

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