Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to Temporarily Close to the Public at of End of Business Saturday, March 14, 2020
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) is taking the preventative measure of closing its system of 19 locations due to concern of the COVID-19 virus. The system will close to the public at the end of the day Saturday, March 14, 2020 and remain closed through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. On Saturday, all CLP locations will operate with restricted services, including material selections and holds pick-ups. All computer access and programs will be suspended.
There have been no documented reports of any patron or staff who have been exposed to COVID-19. However, the health and safety of our patrons is of the utmost importance.
“It is with a heavy heart that we need to take the extraordinary step of closing to the public,” said Mary Frances Cooper, president & director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, “We understand the impact this decision has on our community. In the interest of our public’s health we cannot in good faith maintain the cleaning routine and enforce the social distancing necessary to combat the spread of this virus.”
During this time, the Library is relaxing its borrowing policy. All late fees will be suspended and due dates extended during this period. Patrons will still be able to continue to enjoy items they have already borrowed. As always, CLP maintains a vast collection of digital materials free with any Allegheny County library card, including eBooks and downloadable audiobooks; streaming TV and movies; magazines, music and more.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Library has:
* increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing facilities
* provided disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to patrons
* removed items, such as toys, puzzles and other interactive items, from public spaces
* canceled outreach programs to senior centers
* canceled programs, events and meeting room bookings
* requested that all patrons and staff practice good hygienic practices, such as hand washing and social distancing to avoid potential contagions
Staff will report to their respective locations on Monday, March 16 to determine ways the system can provide quality library services during this national crisis. Library officials are monitoring news and updates provided by the CDC, Allegheny County Health Department and the PA Department of Health related to the COVID-19 pandemic daily. As the situation, changes the Library will provide updates at carnegielibrary.org/coronavirus.
“It is important to remember that COVID-19 isn’t connected to race, ethnicity or nationality,” Cooper explained. “Stigma will not help fight the illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reduce misinformation.”