The Salt Lake County Library system is opening its doors without appointments, so patrons can check out books, print documents and access public computers.
The county’s 17 library locations have been gradually reopening over the past three weeks, said Sara Neal, a spokeswoman for the library system. Staff took care, Neal said, to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols were in place at each stage of the reopening.
“It’s just such a vital service for so many people, throughout the county,” Neal said.
The county’s library branches are open Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The county libraries are closed Sundays.
To promote social distancing, the libraries will continue to limit the number of people allowed in at any one time. Also, patrons must wear face masks while in a library.
The county libraries closed on March 13, under a public health order when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since then, the libraries have had a phased reopening, with curbside services that started on May 26, and patrons being allowed inside library buildings by appointment beginning July 13.
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson praised library staff. “I’m constantly amazed at the way they’ve adapted their services this year,” Wilson said in a statement.
One branch that will not reopen is the Columbus Library, within the Columbus Community Center at 2531 S. 400 East, in South Salt Lake City. That library was slated to close this winter or next spring, ahead of the opening of the new Granite Library next year, at 3300 South and 500 East, on the site of the old Granite High School.
The county has limited access to the Columbus Center building, a former elementary school that also houses the Columbus Senior Center and other county and municipal services.
Another library location, in Kearns, is closed because of an ongoing rebuilding project. Neal said the Kearns library is scheduled tentatively to reopen in January.