library reopening

The Lancaster and Mountville branches of the Lancaster Public Library are now open for in-person browsing on a limited basis, with various safety procedures in place.

This story will be updated as additional libraries reopen.

The Lancaster Public Library announced Thursday that it has reopened its downtown Lancaster and Mountville branches to the public for limited browsing, computer use and other services.

The public can come into the libraries to choose and check out books, DVDs and CDs, use the public computers, print and make copies in what the library terms “express visits.”

Library patrons are asked to keep their visits brief — 30 minutes or less. All patrons must wear face masks and maintain 6-foot social distancing.

Public restrooms and drinking fountains are closed in the libraries, and all chairs and tables have been removed.

The library announced it has discontinued curbside pickup; however, those who are still uncomfortable coming into the library can check out items ahead of time for no-contact pickup.

In addition, the library has started a “grab-bag” service in which patrons can have the library staff select up to 10 titles for them to check out, based on their interests. The service is available for all reading levels, the library says. You can fill out an order form for a grab-bag online at lancasterpubliclibrary.org/grab-bags.

The Lancaster branch is at 125 N. Duke St. and the Mountville branch is at 120 E. College Ave., Mountville.

All public libraries in Lancaster County closed to the public in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though many have been offering curbside pickup and various online services.

Other county libraries have also reopened for in-person browsing, with masks required and other safety procedures in place and chairs and tables removed. Capacity in come libraries is limited, so there may be a wait to get inside.

Libraries that are open for browsing, planning to open soon or offering curbside pickup include:

• Moores Memorial Library, 9 W. Slokom Ave., Christiana, is open for collection browsing and checkout, computer use and curbside pickup.

• The Eastern Lancaster County Library, 11 Chestnut Drive, New Holland, is open for brief visits, by appointment only; computers, printing and copying services are not available.

• The Elizabethtown Public Library, 10 S. Market St., Elizabethtown, is open for browsing and checking out materials and for public computer use, among other services. 

• Milanof-Schock Library, 1184 Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy, is open for browsing and item checkout, printing and copying services and using its two public computers. Grab-and-go pickup is still available for those who don't want to come to the library.

• Manheim Township Public Library, 595 Granite Run Drive, is open for  express browsing visits. The number of patrons in the library is being limited. Curbside pickup is still available.

• Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Road, is open for browsing, with limited capacity in the building. Computer use is not yet available.

• Columbia Public Library, 24 S. 6th St., Columbia, is open for browsing for materials, faxing and making copies. Computers are not available yet, since the library is awaiting the delivery of Plexiglas shields. Once the shields are installed, computer use will be by appointment only.

• Pequea Valley Public Library, 31 Center St., Intercourse, and the Salisbury Township branch, 835 Houston Run Drive, Suite 220, Gap, are open for express visits. Patrons are asked to bring their own bags to take home materials.

• Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata, is now scheduling 30-minute browsing sessions, by appointment only, that start on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Appointments are open only for residents of Ephrata and Akron boroughs and Clay and Ephrata townships.

• The Manheim Community Library, 15 E. High St., Manheim, is offering a Library-to-Go service at a remote location. Patrons can request materials —by searching the library catalog or asking the library staff to choose materials for them — and make an appointment for no-contact pickup at at the former ambulance building, 26 E. High St., Manheim.  

• The Adamstown Area Library, 3000 N. Reading Road, Adamstown, is open for curbside pickup with a reservation. Public wi-fi and computers are available on a limited basis.

• The Quarryville Public Library, 357 Buck Road, Quarryville, is open for curbside pickup with a reservation.

• The Strasburg-Heisler Library, 143 Precision Road, Strasburg, is open for curbside pickup and plans to open for collection browsing, by appointment, in early August.

For the reopening status and hours of your local library, check on the Library System of Lancaster County website: lancasterlibraries.org/find-a-library. Updates are also available on individual libraries' Facebook pages.