Answered By: Diego Hernandez-Calabria - Selby, Sarasota Co. Libraries
Last Updated: Dec 01, 2020     Views: 129

Sarasota County Libraries officially reopened its branches to the public on Monday, June 15th, 2020! 

During this phase of our reopening, we will be operating within a more limited capacity compared to before the closure, as we continue to monitor the overall situation with COVID-19 and work to ensure that the safety of our patrons and our staff is upheld.

The changes listed as follows are subject to change as we approach a new phase of reopening, and will be updated as required.

Social distancing and use of masks are highly encouraged. If you are not feeling well, please stay at home for the safety of yourself and others.

1. Changes to our Facilities:

  • The number of patrons visiting Sarasota County Libraries will not be restricted, coinciding with Phase II of Florida's reopening plan.
  • Plexiglass cough splash screens will be installed at service desks.
  • Bookshelf aisles will be one-way (marked at their entrances) to encourage social distancing.
  • Social distancing floor markers will be placed at service points. 
  • Limited seating is available. 
  • Public computer session times adjusted to one hour per session per person per day.
  • Extra sanitation stations will be provided.

2. Services:

  • In-library services will be adjusted to emphasize more "grab-and-go" services.
  • Curbside pickup services started on May 4th, 2020 will continue to be available at all branches during open hours.
  • All Digital Library resources will remain available online.
  • Newspaper and magazines will be unavailable, but several can be accessed through the Digital Library (articles/crosswords from physical papers and magazines can be requested for printing at staff discretion).
  • To-go DIY craft kits and themed book bags available for check out.
  • Phone, online chat, text and email reference services will continue to be available. These services are available from 10am to 6pm Monday through Thursday and 10am to 5pm Friday and Saturday.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is reinstated. 
  • Books by Mail services will continue.
  • Browsing of collection and self-checkout offered.
  • High-touch items like puzzles, toys, and board books will not be available for in-library use or checkout.

3. Programming

  • Virtual programming will continue to be available and expanded in lieu of physical programs.
  • Virtual programs for critical needs (job searching, re-employment assistance, etc.) will be offered.
  • To-go programs (craft kits, puzzles, etc.) will be available for checkout.

4. Meeting Rooms

  • Meeting room and study room use will not be available for use or reservation through June.
  • All meeting room reservations have been canceled through June.

5. Public Computers, Printing, and Wi-Fi

  • Wi-Fi is available at all libraries.
  • Public computer use is adjusted to one hour per session per person.
  • Public computer assistance will be limited to accommodate physical distancing.  
  • Printing/copying is available for free to patrons for the first four weeks of our opening; report to staff at service desks to have print jobs released.

6. Volunteers

  • At this time, Sarasota County Libraries are not accepting new volunteers; current volunteers will not be working in the buildings until further notice.
  • The following Friends of the Library bookstores are open: 
    • Selby Public Library: Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm.
    • William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library: Monday - Saturday from 10am - 3pm
    • Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 10:30am - 4:30pm
    • Fruitville Public Library: Monday - Thursday from 10am - 6pm; Friday-Saturday from 10am - 5pm
    • Shannon Staub Public Library: Monday - Saturday from 10am - 2pm

7. Hours of Operation

  • All libraries (except Osprey)
    • Monday through Thursday, 10am to 6pm
    • Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5pm
  • Osprey Library (starting November 30)
    • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 10am - 5pm
    • Saturday 10am - 5pm

8. Payment Management

  • Online payment for fines/fees encouraged, as cash payments will not be accepted.
  • Online payments can be made through "My Account" in the library catalog.


For more updates about the library reopening during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit our website for more information.