Tuesday, March 23rd 2021
Library Re-Opening:

The Trustees of the Library, and the Library Director have dedicated themselves to ensuring the safety of the public and the staff as their foremost priority throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Board, Director and the staff of the library would like nothing better than to throw our doors wide and welcome the people of Brookline back into the buildings, we believe at this time that it is prudent to wait a little while longer.

In a meeting today, and in several other meetings recently, Brookline Health Commissioner Dr Swannie Jett reiterated that the pandemic is not over. He pointed out there has been an uptick of the UK variant in Brookline in recent weeks, and that the result of the decline in availability of widespread testing is that we will no longer be able to track surges or spikes. It is his belief, and ours, that we should not be rushing to open the library, or in fact, the country.

Some surrounding libraries have been open periodically for limited in person browsing. Unfortunately, those libraries have had to open and shut and open and shut with the tides of the virus, leading to whiplash amongst their patrons about what their libraries are offering. The plan in Brookline has been a slow steady return to normal, rather than see-sawing back and forth.

The safety of the public and the staff can only be enhanced by waiting to re-open the buildings until the majority of the staff has been vaccinated. Governor Baker’s announcement that all residents of Massachusetts will be eligible for the vaccine in mid-April gives us hope that we will be able to open safely sooner, rather than later.

The Continuation of Operations Plan (COOP) is being updated, and we are actively planning for safety protocols for an open library. We have installed capacity measuring software, and are working on computer usage plans, furniture arrangements, and other measures to guarantee that your library will be safe and comfortable.


Sara Slymon, Library Director &
The Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Brookline
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