Book it! Nearly two dozen public libraries in NYC reopen Monday for ‘grab-and-go’ service

Flatbush Branch Covid_staging-2
The staging area outside the Flatbush branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. (Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library)

More than four months after the COVID-19 pandemic rocked New York City, the Brooklyn, New York and Queens public libraries will reopen a handful of locations this Monday, July 13, for “grab-and-go” service only.

Twenty-two branches of the three public library systems serving New York City will offer booklovers the opportunity to pick up new novels and non-fiction works after reserving them online. Customers who had borrowed books months ago but never got a chance to return them will be able to do so, with late fees waived.

Those heading to the reopened branches will need to wear masks to protect others, and practice social distancing.

Over the past week, library employees returned to the reopening locations to help prepare them for the relaunch. However, customers will be met at the door by librarians who will help them check out new material and process returning items.

In Brooklyn, seven branches will reopen Monday for grab-and-go service: Bay Ridge (7223 Ridge Blvd.), Bushwick (340 Bushwick Ave.), Central (10 Grand Army Plaza), Flatbush (22 Linden Blvd.), Kings Highway (2115 Ocean Ave.), New Lots (665 New Lots Ave.) and Red Hook (7 Wolcott St.).

The Brooklyn branches will be open six days a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m.

The New York Public Library, which operates libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, will have the following grab-and-go locations in the three boroughs: Belmont (610 East 186th St., Bronx); Francis Martin (2150 University Ave., Bronx); Parkchester (1985 Westchester Ave., Bronx); George Bruce (518 West 125th St., Harlem); Epiphany (228 East 23rd St., Gramercy); Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (455 5th Ave., Midtown); Richmondtown (200 Clarke Ave., Staten Island); and Todt Hill-Westerleigh (2550 Victory Blvd., Staten Island). 

All branches will be open six days a week. Hours for all locations (except Stavros Niarchos) are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays from noon to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Stavros Niarchos location will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seven Queens Public Library locations will provide grab-and-go service: Bayside (214-20 Northern Blvd.); Bellerose (250-06 Hillside Ave.); East Elmhurst (95-06 Astoria Blvd.); Kew Gardens Hills (72-33 Vleigh Place); Laurelton (134-26 225th St.); Long Island City (37-44 21st St.); and Peninsula (92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach). 

Each branch will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a one-hour closure from 1 to 2 p.m. each day for cleaning; Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m., with a one-hour cleaning closure from 3 to 4 p.m.).

Additionally, Queens Public Library will operate book return kiosks at the following branches that remain closed to the public: Astoria (14-01 Astoria Blvd.); Cambria Heights (218-13 Linden Blvd.); Central (89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica); Jackson Heights (35-51 81st St.); Queensboro Hill (60-05 Main St., Flushing); Rego Park (91-41 63rd Drive); Ridgewood (2012 Madison St.) and South Ozone Park (128-16 Rockaway Blvd.). 

Visit the New York, Queens or Brooklyn library websites for further information about grab-and-go service.