Eight York County libraries close in-person browsing due to COVID-19

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

Eight York County Libraries locations have shut down in-person browsing and are returning to pickup and online services due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the county. 

The change took effect Thursday. According to the library system, five locations will continue to offer in-person browsing until further notice, although some do not offer communal spaces such as seating areas and public computers. 

York County is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 transmission at about double the rate of new cases the county was seeing during its last peak.

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York County Libraries has adjusted its services several times during the pandemic. The last time the organization closed in-person browsing was in May, according to spokeswoman Deb Sullivan. The libraries reopened for browsing June 1. 

"The health and safety of our library members, staff and community-at-large are at the center of our decisions," York County Libraries President Robert Lambert said in the news release. “We will evaluate this latest service change at the end of January with an eye on COVID-19 transmission levels.  At that time, we will discern if we should return to our in-library service model at all locations.”

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During the closure, patrons are encouraged to use the Grab & Go pickup service by placing holds on library materials online or by calling their local library. The library emails members when materials are ready for pickup.  Several locations also offer themed book bundles and Grab & Go craft kits for various ages.

Members can continue using library book drops to return borrowed materials. Cardholders have access to over 80,000 digital books, audiobooks, music, comics and movies for free. There are also digital story times, online programs, and 80 electronic databases available for free with a library card.

York College volunteer Sophia DeBolt stores books from the Martin Library Children's Library in the basement of the York City library Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Over 40,000 items are being removed from the children's library before renovations take place there. The upgrades are part of a $10 million libraries expansion project taking place at three county libraries. The project will focus on renovations and upgraded technology for teenagers. DeBolt is with Changemakers, a student community-enhancement group. Bill Kalina photo

Community members without a card can request one for free at yorklibraries.org.

Libraries closed for in-person browsing:

  • Arthur Hufnagel
  • Collinsville
  • Dover
  • Glatfelter
  • Kreutz Creek
  • Martin
  • Red Land
  • Village

Dillsburg Area Public Library, Guthrie Memorial Library, Kaltreider-Benfer Library, Mason-Dixon Area Public Library and Paul Smith Library of Southern York County remain open for in-person browsing. 

For more information, visit yorklibraries.org/reopening

Reach Erin Bamer at ebamer@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @ErinBamer.