Coronavirus Updates

Updated 7/1/20

Now that Berks has entered the "Green" phase of Governor Wolf's reopening matrix, libraries will begin gradually reintroducing in-person services while continuing to provide curbside and grab-and-go pick-up. Patrons may request holds using the online catalog and will be notified when their order is ready to pick up. All materials will be quarantined before returning to circulation.

Please note that each library will be working with their Board of Directors to implement their own reopening plan using guidance from the CDC, PA Department of Health, and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries to ensure the safety of staff and patrons. Not all library reopening plans will look the same. Please reach out to your home library for additional information.

 

Returning Materials—In order to help avoid a large influx of items at member libraries, we ask patrons to follow the following schedule to return library materials:

  • Patrons with the last name beginning with A-E should return their materials via local library drop box during the week of June 22 - 27
  • Patrons with the last name beginning with F-L should return their materials via local library drop box during the week of June 29 – July 4
  • Patrons with the last name beginning with M-S should return their materials via local library drop box during the week of July 6 - 11
  • Patrons with the last name beginning with T-Z should return their materials via local library drop box during the week of July 13 – 18

Due dates for all items that were checked out before March 17 are pushed to July 31 to allow people time to return their items. If your item was overdue before libraries closed in March, your due date was unable to be pushed to July 31.


Important Information:

  • Each library will be following their own set of reopening guidelines. Please check with your local library for specific instructions.
  • All materials checked out prior to March 16 will be due on July 31 under the preferred return schedule (above). Items marked as late before March 16 will still have fines.
  • Libraries will offer curbside/grab-and-go pick up service. You can request materials from any library location but items must be picked up from the library where they are located.

Digital library service remains available to all county residents with a Berks County Public Library card. Berks County residents without a card can apply online through the countywide catalog. Libraries continue to offering virtual programming online and through social media.

As libraries continue to respond to the latest information and guidelines from local and state officials regarding the COVID-19 virus, each location will be undergoing operational changes to make sure they are providing a safe environment for staff and patrons while continuing to offer library services. Because updates and best practices are constantly evolving, please call your local library or visit their website for more information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers)

When will libraries reopen?
All Berks County library buildings remain closed to the public at this time following direction from Governor Tom Wolf and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. Library users may utilize Curbside Grab-and-Go service to borrow materials from their home library.

 

Can I borrow something from the library?
Each library will be operating under a different set of guidelines determined by their Board of Trustees; however, most libraries will be offering Curbside Grab-and-Go pick-up service to their patrons. Please check with your library for more information.

 

How does curbside pick-up work?
You can place a holds request for materials available from any library location, but you will need to pick up those items from the library where they are located. Your library will notify you when your item(s) is ready for pick up and schedule a time for you to visit during their operating hours.

 

What does “home library” mean?
Berks County Public Libraries has 23 library locations across Berks County which work together to provide priority service to all county residents. All library patrons have one of these locations assigned as their “home library,” which serves as the primary pick up location for borrowed materials. Your home library is traditionally close to where you live and may be changed if you move. You can find out your home library location by logging into your account.

In this current reopening phase, patrons can request materials from any library location but items must be picked up from the library where they are located. Watch the video below to see how you filter items by your home library and request materials from that location.