Berkeley Public Library Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus
City Health Officer's Shelter in Place Order
Berkeley Public Library patrons,
As you most likely have heard already, this afternoon the Health Officer of the City of Berkeley joined the Public Health Officers of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties to announce a legal order directing residents to shelter at home.
This unprecedented action legally limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs for three weeks beginning March 17. For further information, please review the FAQs posted on the City of Berkeley's website.
It is imperative we all abide by the orders of the Public Health Officer and the Library must take additional actions beyond postponing programming and the closing of our facilities.
1. In-person outreach efforts will cease. Every month Library staff visit dozens of classrooms and hold programs at community events. These will be canceled until further notice.
2. All book drops will be closed. Please retain Library materials until the Library reopens. Most items currently checked out will be automatically renewed and the Library ceased issuing fines for the majority of materials in 2018. If a fine on a Library material does accrue, it will be waived.
3. Public service phone lines will not be answered and responses to email queries may be slower than usual. We apologize for the inconvenience as we hoped to continue to offer prompt customer service throughout the crisis. However, as City employees, all Library staff are designated as emergency service workers and must be available for assignments from the City Manager.
We look forward to being able to connect with you when conditions allow it! Until then, we encourage you to find ways to compassionately and kindly support one another as we collectively work to protect each other’s safety and health.
On behalf of the Berkeley Public Library,
Acting Director of Library Services
Library Access from Home
With digital services from Berkeley Public Library, card holders have 24/7 free access to books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, classes and more.
Find out more about our numerous resources from the Downloads & Streaming page. Some of our most popular services include the following:
Streaming music is available from Hoopla as well as from Naxos, which includes classical, jazz and world music, and Alexander Street, which features contemporary world music, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and more.