Some San Diego libraries reopen 6 months after closure

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SAN DIEGO — Some libraries in San Diego were open to the public Saturday for the first time in six months.

“This is an important first step for our neighborhoods, for our families and for our kids,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in front of the Malcolm X Branch Library.

Of the 36 libraries in the city of San Diego, 12 reopened this weekend. They are operating at a limited capacity of 25% from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“Our branch libraries are really the heart and soul of our system here in San Diego. Even though we can’t have the capacity that we want, it’s still important we provide those services,” Faulconer said.

Library director Misty Jones warned that families will see some changes. Spending hours getting lost in your favorite book will no longer be possible.

“We’re asking people to be pretty quick and efficient. We don’t want to have long lines. We want to make sure that everyone is getting service,” Jones said. “You can come in and use the computer for an hour.”

She said there will be outdoor computer labs for people to sit outside and use for a longer period at 10 locations.

“We’re also pleased to announce an exciting new program for free internet access and WiFi because we know during COVID, access to information is so incredibly important,” Faulconer said.

Everyone who visits a library is required to wear a mask, have their temperature checked and practice physical distancing.

“You can’t go in and browse through the collection, but you can talk to a librarian and they’ll go retrieve items and bring them to you to check out or you can place items on hold online and come and pick those up,” Jones said.

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