This summer of social distancing is the perfect time to create (and finish) a summer reading list—whether it’s for you or for your child. Luckily, some New York public libraries have recently opened for curbside pickup so you can safely borrow as many books as your heart desires.
Safely Visiting the Library During COVID-19
While curbside and grab-and-go are the safest ways to borrow books right now, you may be missing the smell of old books and itching to get between the stacks. When libraries begin offering limited indoor access will be required to follow safety guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Library Association regarding the handling of materials.
Furniture will be rearranged to maintain social distancing, with floor decals and signs sending traffic in one direction. They will use EPA-certified cleaning products and offer hand sanitizer, including wipes for the computers to be used after each visitor. Returned books will be quarantined off-site before reentering circulation. Staff members will be provided gloves and masks and will clean surfaces like door and toilet handles every two hours. All branches will limit capacity and activity. There won’t be any gatherings or community events, and only 50 people will be allowed inside at a time.
Harvey Karp, M.D, pediatrician and author of Happiest Baby on the Block, urges people to limit the touching of shared surfaces while visiting a library and to follow all of the recommended COVID-19 safety precautions we have been thus far (wearing a face covering, staying home if you’re sick, refraining from touching your face, using hand sanitizer, etc.).
How Curbside Pickup at the Library Works
Prior to your visit, you can place a hold on books online or via phone. You will need to log into your online library account. Step-by-step instructions on using the NYPL Grab & Go service are available here. Llibrary staff will have the books set out on a shelf, ready to go with your name on them so all you’ll have to do when you arrive is pick them up.
If you’re concerned that germs are hitching a ride home on the books you borrow, Harvey Karp, M.D, pediatrician and author of Happiest Baby on the Block urges you to bag up your library haul and leave it in the car, garage, or entryway for a couple of days. “From what we understand of Coronavirus, even though surface transmission isn’t typical, the virus may be able to live on surfaces for up to two to three days,” says Dr. Karp.
Below are the locations in Staten Island where you can borrow books curbside. We will update this page as more branches open up.
200 Clarke Avenue
Staten Island, NY, 10306
Todt Hill–Westerleigh Library
2550 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY, 10314
Currently, hours at the grab-and-go locations are:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 11 AM–6 PM
Wednesday: 12–7 PM
Friday and Saturday: 11 AM–5 PM