As you know, we are all facing a difficult public health situation, the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is an unsettling time for all, and I assure you that the Library—a trusted institution providing critical services in every neighborhood—is in close communication with the City and doing everything possible to protect its patrons and our staff. In that vein, and in support of the City's efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Library has decided to suspend all public-facing programs beginning Friday, March 13, through at least the end of March. This includes all events (classes, programs, workshops, etc.) at our 92 locations, which as of now remain open with regular operating hours.
Please know that this was not an easy decision for us to make. The Library's robust schedule of programs is an important resource for New Yorkers of all ages. However, out of an abundance of caution, we feel that this is the best way that the Library can support the City's efforts to discourage crowds during this challenging time.
All our libraries across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island remain open. The Library continues to provide free and open access to books, public computers and Wi-Fi, and the expert recommendations and help of our staff. Patrons are encouraged to visit the Library to complete the critical 2020 Census and learn about why an accurate count is so important. NYPL also offers an array of resources that patrons can access at all times outside of our branches, including the free e-reader app SimplyE and several online databases.
As we receive new information, we will continue to update you on our coronavirus webpage. Please use the resources on our website and reach out to Ask NYPL with any questions you may have. And thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to best serve and protect our patrons and staff. At times like these, even if we cannot physically gather together, we need to support one another.