Media Relations Specialist
(Kansas City, Mo.) - Amid public health concerns about the transmission of COVID-19 over the holidays, the Kansas City Public Library will close all locations from December 24, 2020, through January 3, 2021.
All currently operating locations will resume all available Library services on Monday, January 4. The break does not affect the Library’s Digital Branch, which offers a vast collection of eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital materials and resources. They remain available throughout the building closures, as will access to the Post Office boxes at the North-East and Bluford branches, and access to the Library’s free Wi-Fi.
“We know services at our physical locations will be missed,” says John Herron, the Library’s executive director. “But we feel strongly that this extended pause is best for our community as we work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We encourage patrons to lean even more during this time on our digital offerings, which have been significantly expanded and upgraded over the past nine months.”
Library locations will close at their normal times on Wednesday, December 23. In addition to protecting the health of both patrons and staff, the holiday pause will enable the Library to maintain adequate staffing across its system. Patrons utilizing the Pop In / Pick Up service are asked not to delay in placing holds and picking up books and other physical materials in advance of the holidays.
“We look forward to reopening our locations on the 4th and safely resuming limited in-person services,” Herron says.
The Library has introduced a number of new in-person services in recent months, including Pop In / Pick Up; free public computer access along with photocopying, faxing, and scanning services; research sessions by appointment at the Central Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections; and Book a Browse family browsing and computer access – also by appointment – in the Kid Corner at the Plaza Branch. Kids Café meals will resume at the L.H. Bluford, Waldo, Southeast, and Trails West branches when the buildings reopen.
Many more services, from storytimes and other children’s and youth activities to the Library’s signature evening programming, are available on its YouTube channel.