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Wear Your Mask & Grab A Book: Dallas Libraries Will Open For Visitors May 4

Aisle at library with bookshelves on either side.
When Dallas libraries reopen May 4 patrons will have two pickup options: grab and go or curbside pickup.

All 25 Dallas Public Library branches will open on May 4, after temporarily closing due to the pandemic. But things will operate a bit differently.

"Because basically, we want you to be able to come in and look and pick things but we really don't want you to linger and stay all day," said Jo Giudice, the city's library director.

There will be two different options to check out a book: Grab and go and curbside pickup.

Libraries will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, including capacity limitations and mask requirements. If you don't have a mask, they will be provided at the door.

There will also be few to no chairs inside the building to ensure social distancing.

Normally, the library staff love for visitors to stay and read, but Giudice said she's recommending librarians keep interactions with visitors short.

"We are going to be encouraging our customers to use this self-check to check out just like you do in the grocery store, so that there's limited interaction with the staff," she said.

There will be some challenges, according to Guidice. But she feels responsible for keeping people safe.

"For my staff, we've big hearts and all we do normally is want to help people so it'll be it will be tough for us to keep our distance," she said.

Library-goers will be allowed to use public computers, but they must sign up for a single 90-minute session. Facilities will also be offering research appointments for historians and genealogists, which will be four hours in length.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gifttoday. Thank you.

Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.