Following the quarantine, staff can begin checking in your items. Until they are able to do so, your Library account will show the items as still being checked out, even though you have placed them in the book drop.
As soon as staff can check-in the items following the 72 hour quarantine, your account will be updated.
Tool Lending Library & Oversized Materials
Please do not return tools through the book drops as they can pose safety concerns for staff and damage the Library's sorting equipment.
Preparations are under way to allow returns of materials from the Tool Lending Library and over-sized items that do not fit in the book-drops.
All due dates have been extended to July 1st and, as you most likely know, the Library does not charge daily overdue fines on most materials. We will keep you posted on next steps.
Why were the book drops closed?
In response to the March 16th Shelter in Place order, the Library closed all book drops to help reduce travel and contact between staff and community members. It was a necessary step in support of everyone’s safety.
Opening the book drops is just the first step in our phased re-opening plans. Additional steps - including curbside pick-up of holds - will follow in the coming weeks.
To do so, the Library must ensure we have enough staff and equipment on hand to support Library services with new Covid-19-specific safety procedures.
Many Library staff have been serving the community as Disaster Service Workers during Covid-19 and we must work closely with the other City departments to ensure smooth transitions back to Library duties when possible.
Have friends and family who do not have a Berkeley Public Library card and they would like access to our online collections? They can sign up for an e-card for instant access.
Coming Soon: Summer Reading
Summer Reading for Adults, Teens and Children Starts June 15
Stay safe this Summer and read great books!
We are working on an online platform and mobile app that will allow you to log your summer reading, write reviews of the books you love (or love to hate!), and earn entries into prize drawings.
More information coming to your inbox, soon...
Central Improvements Project
After an extremely successful neighborhood branch improvement project that has led to increased use of the four branch Libraries and positive outcomes for patrons, it was time for Central!
With the support of the Berkeley Public Library Foundation and its donors, and from Library Tax funding received in previous fiscal years, the Library began improvements to sections of the Central Library's first and second floors earlier this year.
Improvements plans include:
Beautifully designed areas for reading, studying and browsing our collections with additional seating options of varied types on both the 1st & 2nd floors
A dedicated Teen Room on the 1st floor with engagement, programming, collections and learning opportunities for teens.
Updated flooring on the 1st floor and lighting enhancements throughout the 1st & 2nd floors.
A public programming space on the 2nd floor easily accessible for all.
Gender neutral bathrooms to ensure safe and comfortable access to bathrooms for everyone.
Construction has Resumed
Construction work was temporarily put on hold to comply with the City of Berkeley COVID-19 Public Health orders until a subsequent order allowed construction to resume earlier this month.
The Library has worked closely with the City's Public Works department to ensure that as the Central Improvement construction resumes, all safety measures and precautions are taken.
One City, One Team!
Serving our community as Disaster Service Workers for the City of Berkeley's response to Covid-19 has been a powerful experience for many Library staff:
Contact tracing is a natural fit for librarians and while I hope there's not an ongoing need for this kind-of work, I'm ready to use the tools I've learned to contact trace, as I think it's incredibly helpful in "flattening the curve" and helping connect people to resources when they're having to isolate.
- Amanda Myers, Supervising Librarian
I was happy to hear that I had the opportunity to work as a Disaster Service Worker. I was feeling helpless before. My goal is to always help people in need whenever I get the chance and this was calling my name!
- Bhumi Dahya, Library Aide
As part of the work I have heard first-hand about the hardships that local businesses are facing. I am glad to be able to be useful in a difficult time like this.
- Ann Hotta, Librarian
This is government at its best - mobilizing to help protect and inform our residents. I have been witness to the herculean efforts staff continue to exert, day after day. It is truly inspiring!
– Aimee Reeder, Communications
It’s been a great experience working with other city staff I don’t know or normally interact with. Everyone has been really conscientious and are doing great in jobs sometimes far outside their usual scope of work! Thank you!
- Oona Okragly, Library Specialist II
Berkeley has done an incredible job at flattening the curve and we must continue to do so.