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Redwood City library reopens after more than a year

The library has implemented several visiting guidelines and safety measures
Redwood City Library reopened this week.

For the first time in a year and a half, the Redwood City Public Library is restoring regular hours and services, according to a city news release. 

Beginning this week, guests are welcome to visit the library seven days a week (full schedules, which vary by branch, are listed below). Although in-person events and meetings are still unavailable, most other programming has resumed, including the Downtown Library Teen Center, study rooms, early childhood learning interactives, the Local History Room, and the forthcoming Makerspace/Co-working space.

  • The Redwood City Downtown Library (1044 Middlefield Road) is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00am-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday from 10:00am-5:00pm, and Sunday from 12:00pm-5:00pm.
  • The Redwood Shores Branch Library (399 Marine Parkway) is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00am-8:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am-5:00pm, and Sunday from 12:00pm-5:00pm.
  • The Schaberg Branch Library (2140 Euclid Avenue) is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 am-7:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

The library initially closed its doors on March 16, 2020, per instructions from the Public Health Officer of San Mateo County. With all in-person activities on hold indefinitely, library staff began organizing new virtual programming. “Stories and Play,” a pre-recorded video series with RCPL librarians, started on March 27, and “Stories from your Community” launched in late May, featuring storytelling with everyone from local authors to Redwood City Firefighters. More than 20,000 people attended the library’s virtual events throughout 2020. 

In June, over 15,000 people made appointments at the Downtown Library for a new curbside pick-up service, which was later extended to all other branches. Wi-Fi hotspots were loaned to individual residents and local organizations, such as the Peninsula College Fund and Casa Círculo Cultural. Starting in November, the library made Wi-Fi available in their parking lots. In addition to continuing some of their regular activities—such as the Summer Learning Challenge—the library also started several new services, including Grab Bags, or “a bundle of books to go, picked by Library staff.” On March 15, they reopened their doors for a limited schedule of in-person activities, including access to computers by appointment.

To ensure the safety of all guests, the RCPL has implemented several visiting guidelines and safety measures.

Visitors (over the age of 2) must wear a mask, and all are required to use hand sanitizer and respect social distancing guidelines. Eating and drinking inside the library is not permitted. Visits are limited to an hour to respect capacity limitations, which vary by location (100 guests at Downtown Library, 75 guests at Redwood Shores Branch Library, 15 guests at Schaberg Branch Library). The library has been outfitted with plexiglass at service desks, an improved air filtration system, social distancing signs, and hand sanitation stations for everyone’s safety. Anyone who has tested positive or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is asked to stay home.

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