We contacted Peter Persic, director of public relations and marketing for the Los Angeles Public Library, on March 20 (with a copy to Durrah Wagner, Councilman Mike Bonin’s field deputy).
Persic was asked, “When will public libraries reopen? Many of my readers in Pacific Palisades don’t understand that if theme parks can open, why can’t libraries?”
On March 22, Persic responded: “Thank you for your message. We are eager to welcome people back into our libraries. We’re currently preparing for a phased reopening that will ensure the health and safety of our patrons and staff–I’ll definitely let you know when the date is finalized. In the meantime, you can access library resources online at lapl.org and take advantage of our pickup service through Library to Go.”
CTN responded, “Exactly what dates are you looking at for the phased reopening?” I pointed out that many residents have been ordering books online and then have to travel to Westwood or Mar Vista to pick them up. This is inconvenient and environmentally unfriendly.
CTN asked Persic, “If grocery clerks can routinely work with dozens of customers in a couple of hours, what is different with a library?”
Acknowledging that the homeless use public libraries for the bathrooms and the free computer access, we wondered if that was the limiting factor in opening libraries.
Persic responded, “We don’t have dates yet, but I will let you know when we do. There are many considerations–including those you mention–such as capacity limits, layout, computer access, functionality, etc. that staff is dealing with to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public. I’ll let you know when we have more information to share.”
(Editor’s note: As soon as CTN has library reopening news, we will share it with readers.)