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PGCMLS at Work: COVID-19 Phased Reopening Plan


Key Dates

July 9

Book Drops Reopen

July 20

New Holds Begin for Physical Materials

July 21

Curbside Service Begins
By Appointment Only

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) will gradually resume in-person services at all branches over the course of the coming months. Using a phased approach to reopening, the Library has developed a robust set of criteria for resuming services based on current and future public health conditions. The health and safety of the Library’s customers and staff are of the highest priority and will dictate the progression through the four phases of the Library’s reopening. The Library acknowledges that customers are eager to return to their beloved libraries as soon as possible, however the continued presence of COVID-19 requires a steady and deliberate approach to resuming access to physical library materials, branch libraries, and in-person programs. 

The Library’s Phased Reopening Plan has been carefully developed with input from the County Health Department, Board of Library Trustees, and UFCW-1994/MCGEO, which represents the Library’s employees. The reopening timeline is organized in four phases that stagger the return of in-person services at PGCMLS branches. Maximized physical distancing, greatly enhanced sanitization of facilities and materials, and clear communications with customers will be required throughout the process. The reopening plan includes adjustments to the Library’s five main areas of operation: customers, staff, facilities, collections, and programs/outreach/meeting rooms.

PGCMLS staff are eager to see members of the community at the libraries after many weeks of being limited to virtual engagement. The Library asks for your continued support as we strive to keep all customers and staff safe while welcoming you back to the branches.

In the event of a continued outbreak of new COVID-19 cases, the Library may revert to previous reopening phases, based upon guidance from the County Health Department. Guidelines and procedures are subject to change.

Curbside service will continue during inclement weather unless conditions are deemed dangerous for staff and customers (e.g. thunderstorms, tornado warnings, or ice storms). If conditions require a temporary suspension of operations, curbside service will be temporarily halted until deemed safe by the supervisor on duty or person in charge.   

The Four Phases

Four Phases

The Library will reopen in four phases with temporary changes to operations that reflect public health guidelines.

Tuesday, July 21

Hours are Tuesday-Friday 1-6 pm, and Saturday 1-5 pm.

Reopening Phase 1
PGCMLS Ask A Librarian

Conditions for Phase 1

  • The stay at home order is lifted by state and local government.
  • Physical distancing is required and infection risks remain.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available for all staff.
  • Masks must be worn by customers and passengers picking up materials (whether in a vehicle or on foot).

How Curbside Service Works

  • Customers can pick-up existing holds by appointment only. Curbside appointments can only be booked once holds are confirmed. Materials will be held for three (3) days from the time the hold notification is received, prompting a curbside appointment booking.
  • When customers arrive for their appointment, staff will deliver their holds to the customer’s vehicle and place the items in the trunk. If a customer arrives on foot or by bicycle, staff will place the materials on a nearby table or cart.
  • Staff may not accept returns by hand. Customers must place all returns directly in the outdoor book drops.
  • All buildings, including restrooms, will remain closed to the public during Phase 1.
  • There is a check out limit of 50 items per library card, per visit. Multiple cards can be used; please indicate on the form when you book your appointment.
  • Access to the Library catalog will be online only and customers will reserve materials via the catalog.
  • Mobile printing is now available at select branches for curbside service. Learn more.
  • If you have a virtual card (starting with "PACREG") you will not be able to check out materials via curbside. If you want to use curbside you must have your virtual card converted. Please call (301) 699-3500 and ask for Public Services or contact us here.

Please call PGCMLS Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451: Hours are Tuesday-Friday 1-6 pm, and Saturday 1-5 pm. 

Branches Offering Curbside Service (Book Drops Open)

  • Accokeek
  • Baden
  • Beltsville
  • Bladensburg
  • Bowie
  • Fairmount Heights
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Hyattsville
  • Largo-Kettering
  • Laurel
  • New Carrollton
  • Oxon Hill
  • South Bowie
  • Spauldings
  • Upper Marlboro

Closed During Phase 1 (Branches & Book Drops)

  • Mount Rainier
  • Surratts-Clinton
  • Pop-up Locations

Health & Safety

  • Staff and customers are required to wear face masks and limit physical contact.
  • All staff will receive basic health screenings when they report for duty to ensure customer and staff safety.
  • Returns will be quarantined for 3 days prior to being checked-in. Returned items will be cleared from accounts in up to 5 days.
  • We recommend using the catalog to find materials at your preferred branch whenever possible. This will speed up the process of getting your materials.
  • Book/material donations are not accepted at any PGCMLS branches.
  • Branches and staff areas are disinfected hourly.

What Services Are Available

  • Check out books, movies, and materials through the hold system.
  • Virtual programs continue.
  • PGCMLS Ask a Librarian support remains available by phone, email, and social media.
  • Drive-up WiFi is available at all PGCMLS buildings 24/7.
  • New customers may obtain a virtual library card at pgcmls.info. New physical cards will not be issued.
  • Books by mail services resume.

What Services Are Not Available

  • All buildings, including restrooms, will remain closed to the public.
  • Public computer, printing, and scanning access are suspended.
  • External outreach activities are suspended.
  • No use of public meeting or study rooms.
  • The Library is not accepting donations at any of our branches. However, there are third-party bins available at Accokeek, Beltsville, Bowie, Greenbelt, Largo-Kettering, Oxon Hill, and South Bowie.

Curbside Service Information

Temporary Hours: To Be Announced

Conditions for Phase 2

  • Physical distancing is still recommended, but infection risks are declining.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available for all staff.

Limited Branch Access

  • A limited number of customers may enter branch libraries based on temporary occupancy limits (1 person per 500 square feet of public services space).
  • Customer visits are limited to 30 minutes, unless a customer has a public computer appointment (which is for 60 minutes).
  • Customers and staff are required to wear face masks.
  • Physical contact between staff and customers is limited.
  • Self-checkout and contactless checkout via the PGCMLS App are encouraged to minimize interactions between customers and staff.
  • Access to the stacks is restricted to staff only. Staff will assist customers with retrieving any materials that are not part of existing holds.
  • Public computer access is by appointment only. The number of accessible computers will be reduced to enforce mandatory physical distancing. Computer appointments can be scheduled in the PGCMLS App, through customer accounts at pgcmls.info, or by calling PGCMLS Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451.
  • Limited displays for customer browsing will be available in the front of each branch.

Branches Offering Curbside Service (Book Drops Open)

  • Accokeek
  • Beltsville
  • Baden
  • Bowie
  • Fairmount Heights
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Hyattsville
  • Largo-Kettering
  • Laurel
  • New Carrollton
  • Oxon Hill
  • South Bowie
  • Spauldings
  • Upper Marlboro

Branches with Curbside Service Only (Book Drops Open)

  • Bladensburg (see curbside procedures listed in Phase 1)

Closed During Phase 2 (Branches & Book Drops)

  • Mount Rainier
  • Pop-up Locations

Health & Safety

  • A limited number of customers and staff are permitted inside buildings at any given time, based on a formula of 1 person per 500 square feet of public services space.
  • Staff and customers are required to wear face masks and limit physical contact.
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards are installed at circulation and information stations.
  • Customers are encouraged to use self-checkout or checkout materials directly in the PGCMLS app.
  • All staff will receive basic health screenings when they report for duty to ensure customer and staff safety.
  • Returns will be quarantined for 3 days prior to being checked-in. Returned items will be cleared from accounts in up to 5 days.
  • Branches and staff areas are disinfected hourly.
  • One public entrance/exit will be available per branch.
  • One set of public restrooms will be available per branch.
  • Water fountains and vending machines are out of service.
  • Disposable keyboard/mouse covers will be used for the public computers.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available for the public at entrances.

What Services Are Available

  • Check out books, movies, and materials through the hold system.
  • Virtual programs continue.
  • PGCMLS Ask a Librarian support remains available by phone, email, and social media.
  • Drive-up WiFi is available at all PGCMLS buildings 24/7.
  • Public computers are available by appointment (up to 60 minutes per session).
  • Public printers and scanners are available.
  • Customers may obtain new or replacement physical library cards.
  • Books by mail services resume.

What Services Are Not Available

  • Ready 2 Read areas are closed and children’s toys are not available.
  • In-person programs are suspended.
  • External outreach activities are suspended.
  • No use of public meeting or study rooms.

Temporary Hours: To Be Announced

Conditions for Phase 3

  • Physical distancing guidelines by the County Health Department have been relaxed to allow for large gatherings.

Partial Branch Access

  • Capacity restrictions for public access will be partially eased, based on current guidance from the County Health Department.
  • Stacks are open to the public and materials may be returned to service desks (in addition to book drops).
  • Book/material donations will not be accepted at any PGCMLS branches during the phased reopening.

Branches Offering Partial Access (Book Drops Open)

  • Accokeek
  • Baden*
  • Beltsville
  • Bladensburg
  • Bowie
  • Fairmount Heights
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Hyattsville
  • Largo-Kettering
  • Laurel
  • Mount Rainier*
  • New Carrollton
  • Oxon Hill
  • South Bowie
  • Spauldings
  • Upper Marlboro

* May reopen if social distancing is possible

Branches with Curbside Service Only (Book Drops Open)

  • Bladensburg (see curbside procedures listed in Phase 1)

Closed During Phase 3

  • Pop-up Locations

Health & Safety

  • Staff and customers are required to wear face masks and limit physical contact.
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards are installed at circulation at information stations.
  • Customers are encouraged to use self-checkout or checkout materials directly in the PGCMLS app.
  • All staff will receive basic health screenings when they report for duty to ensure customer and staff safety.
  • Returns will be quarantined for 3 days prior to being checked-in. Returned items will be cleared from accounts in up to 5 days.
  • Book/material donations are not accepted at any PGCMLS branches.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available for the public at entrances.

What Services Are Available

  • Check out books, movies, and materials.
  • Virtual programs continue.
  • PGCMLS Ask a Librarian support remains available by phone, email, and social media.
  • Drive-up WiFi is available at all PGCMLS buildings 24/7.
  • Customers may obtain new or replacement physical library cards.
  • In-person programs, outreach activities, and meeting room use remain suspended.
  • Customers may access study rooms.

What Services Are Not Available

  • Ready 2 Read areas are closed and children’s toys are not available.
  • In-person programs are suspended.
  • External outreach activities are suspended.
  • No use of public meeting or study rooms.

Temporary Hours: To Be Announced

Conditions for Phase 4

  • Infection risk is very low or non-existent.

Full Branch Access with Physical Distancing

  • Customers and staff may be required to wear face masks.
  • Physical contact between staff and customers may be limited.

Branches Offering Full Access (Book Drops Open)

  • Accokeek
  • Baden
  • Beltsville
  • Bowie
  • Fairmount Heights
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Hyattsville
  • Largo-Kettering
  • Laurel
  • Mount Rainier*
  • New Carrollton
  • Oxon Hill
  • Pop-up Locations
  • South Bowie
  • Spauldings
  • Upper Marlboro

Health & Safety

  • Staff and customers are required to wear face masks and limit physical contact.
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards are installed at circulation at information stations.
  • All staff will receive basic health screenings when they report for duty to ensure customer and staff safety.
  • Returns will be quarantined for 3 days prior to being checked-in. Returned items will be cleared from accounts in up to 5 days.
  • Book/material donations are not accepted at any PGCMLS branches.
  • Branches and staff areas are disinfected hourly.
  • One public entrance/exit will be available per branch.
  • One set of public restrooms will be available per branch.
  • Water fountains and vending machines are out of service.
  • Disposable keyboard/mouse covers will be used for the public computers.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available for the public at entrances.

What Services Are Available

  • Check out books, movies, and materials.
  • Virtual programs continue.
  • PGCMLS Ask a Librarian support remains available by phone, email, and social media.
  • Drive-up WiFi is available at all PGCMLS buildings 24/7.
  • In-person programs, outreach activities, and meeting room use remain suspended.
  • External outreach activities may resume.
  • Customers may access study rooms.

What Services Are Not Available

  • Ready 2 Read areas are closed and children’s toys are not available.
  • In-person programs are suspended.
  • Meeting rooms remain unavailable to the public until no longer needed for quarantined materials.

Introducing Biodegradable Bags

Banner graphic: "Laurel Dinosaurs" by Ella Alonso, PGCMLS (used with permission)