Watertown Library Lifts Most COVID-19 Restrictions, Opens at Full Capacity

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The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

Starting on Saturday, May 29, most covid restrictions were rescinded inside the Watertown Free Public Library. With capacity and social distancing limitations removed, patrons were welcomed back to full use of the library. It didn’t take long to feel the buzz that was so common before COVID hit last March.

For the past year, library services have been greatly reduced to primarily browsing the collection, checking out materials, and limited computer and equipment use. Now, patrons can walk in and use computers, study rooms, sit and read, work, and use the public meeting rooms. Library operating hours are near pre-covid with the final move to full hours on July 11 when the library will resume Sunday hours.

Still, some restrictions remain including masks for all people entering the children’s or teen rooms of the library. Masks are recommended throughout the rest of the building, but not required. It is expected that masks will be required in teen room at least through the end of the school year, and longer for the children’s room until young children are eligible for vaccines.

Library programming will be offered both virtually and in-person, with some outdoor programming starting in June. Our first in-person program kicks off with Front Lawn Storytime for kids on June 21 at noon and later that week our first Pop Up Patio Concert with Michael Nix on Friday June 25 at 5 pm on the front patio.

While COVID made serving the community difficult, some new services came out of the pandemic that will remain for the foreseeable future. Last fall laptops and wifi hotspots were made available for two week loan periods and that service will remain. Curbside service became a fast patron-favorite and the library hopes to make this a permanent service.

“Our library staff have worked so hard to keep the library moving throughout the pandemic. What we’ve been able to provide has been a huge accomplishment and an immense service to our community. I’m very proud of what we’ve done.” said Library Director, Leone Cole.

Current Library Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday: 9 AM – 9 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
  • Saturday: 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday: Closed (Sunday hours will resume July 11, 2021)

You are required to:

  • Wear a mask while using the children’s and teen rooms, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Follow CDC and Massachusetts mask and social distancing guidance for unvaccinated people.

Masks are recommended for all people in the library. 

For complete details on library operations including hours, services, and events visit www.watertownlib.org.

About WFPL

The Watertown Free Public Library (WFPL) provides access to a wide variety of popular materials, resources, services, and programs that fulfill the informational, cultural, and recreational needs of Watertown and surrounding communities. Our Library works to create an environment that attracts and welcomes users of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit watertownlib.org.

2 thoughts on “Watertown Library Lifts Most COVID-19 Restrictions, Opens at Full Capacity

  1. A big Thank you to all the staff at the Watertown Library! I feel very fortunate to have borrowed books & movies these last 12 months while being home like so many. Your services are greatly appreciated!
    Stay safe & well all-

  2. Pre-pandemic I’ve found the staff at the Watertown public library to be sometimes brusque, other times downright rude. Not all staff, certainly, some are courteous and even kind. But in the deepest part of the pandemic, while many other public libraries in the region closed their doors, the WPL heroically stayed open for browsing. They did all the right things, with one-way paths, curbside check-outs, contact tracing forms. So I want to give all of the library staff a belated thank you. Books, CDs, DVDs, online events, and puzzles that kept me going, kept us going. Thank you for your brave work during the past 14 months.

    And now, thank you for reopening.

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