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June 26, 2020


Contact: Nicholas A. Brown

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System Announces Phased Reopening Plan

Phase 1 - Curbside Service Begins Tuesday, July 21

Largo, Maryland – The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) will gradually resume in-person services at all branches over the course of the coming months. Using a phased approach to reopening, the Library has developed criteria for resuming services based on current and future public health conditions. The health and safety of the Library’s customers and staff are of the highest priority and will dictate the progression through the four phases of the Library’s reopening, based on guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department. Phase 1 (Curbside Service) will begin on Tuesday, July 21. Book drops will reopen on Thursday, July 9.

The Library acknowledges that customers are eager to return to their beloved libraries as soon as possible, however the continued presence of COVID-19 requires a steady and deliberate approach to resuming access to physical library materials, branch libraries, and in-person programs. The Phased Reopening Plan is available for review at

The Library’s Phased Reopening Plan has been carefully developed with input from the County Health Department, Board of Library Trustees, and UFCW-1994/MCGEO, which represents the Library’s employees. The reopening timeline is organized in four phases that stagger the return of in-person services at PGCMLS branches. Maximized physical distancing, greatly enhanced sanitization of facilities and materials, and clear communications with customers will be required throughout the process. The reopening plan includes adjustments to the Library’s five main areas of operation: customers, staff, facilities, collections, and programs, outreach, and meeting rooms.

Customers with questions about the Phased Reopening Plan should contact PGCMLS by phone at (240) 455-5451, via the PGCMLS email reference service, and via social media. In the event of a continued outbreak of new COVID-19 cases, the Library may revert to previous reopening phases, based upon guidance from the County Health Department. Guidelines and procedures are subject to change.

Phase 1 - Curbside Service (July 21)

Start Date: Tuesday, July 21

Temporary Hours: Tuesday 1-8 pm | Wednesday-Friday 1-6 pm | Saturday 1-5 pm

Conditions for Phase 1

  • The stay at home order is lifted by the state and local government.
  • Physical distancing is required and infection risks remain.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available for all staff.

How Curbside Service Works

  • Beginning on July 21, customers may book curbside service appointments using the PGCMLS App, through their account at, or by calling PGCMLS Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451.
  • Customers can pick-up existing holds by appointment only. 
  • When customers arrive for their appointment, staff will deliver holds to the customer’s vehicle and place the items in the trunk. If a customer arrives on foot or by bicycle, the staff will hand the materials to the customer.
  • Staff may not accept returns by hand. Customers must place all returns directly in the outdoor book drops.
  • Customers may not enter library buildings during Phase 1.
  • Customers are limited to 25 items per car or visit.
  • Access to the Library catalog will be online only and customers will reserve materials via the catalog. They may also call into a branch for assistance with placing holds.

Branches Offering Curbside Service (Book Drops Open)

  • Accokeek
  • Beltsville
  • Bladensburg
  • Bowie
  • Fairmount Heights
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Hyattsville
  • Largo-Kettering
  • Laurel
  • New Carrollton
  • Oxon Hill
  • South Bowie
  • Spauldings
  • Upper Marlboro

Closed During Phase 1 (Branches & Book Drops)

  • Baden
  • Mount Rainier
  • Pop-up Locations

Health & Safety

  • Staff and customers are required to wear face masks and limit physical contact. 
  • All staff will receive basic health screenings when they report for duty to ensure customer and staff safety.
  • Returns will be quarantined for 96 hours prior to being checked-in.
  • Branches and staff areas will be disinfected hourly.

What Services Are Available

  • Check out books, movies, and materials through the hold system.
  • Virtual programs continue.
  • PGCMLS Ask a Librarian support remains available by phone, email, and social media.
  • Drive-up WiFi is available at all PGCMLS buildings 24/7.
  • New customers may obtain a virtual library card at New physical cards will not be issued.
  • Books by mail services resume.

What Services Are Not Available

  • Customers may not enter the Library’s buildings.
  • Public computer, printing, and scanning access are suspended.
  • In-person programs are suspended.
  • External outreach activities are suspended.
  • No use of public meeting or study rooms.
  • Book/material donations will not be accepted at any PGCMLS branches during the phased reopening.

Overview of Phases 2-4

Phases 2-4 represent a gradual return to public access to the Library’s branches. A brief overview of the criteria and highlights for each phase is provided below. Additional details are available at and will be announced prior to the start of each new phase.

Phase 2 – Limited Branch Access (Date TBA)

Start Date: To Be Announced

Temporary Hours: Tuesday 1-8 pm | Wednesday-Friday 1-6 pm | Saturday 1-5 pm


  • Criteria: Physical distancing is still recommended, but infection risks are declining.
  • 15 of the Library’s branches will reopen for limited public access.
  • The Bladensburg Branch Library will continue with curbside service only and Baden, Mount Rainier, and pop-up locations will remain closed.
  • A limited number of customers will be permitted to enter library buildings concurrently, based on a one person per 500 square feet capacity. There is a 30-minute limit for entry.
  • Customers and staff will be required to wear face masks. Plexiglass protective shields will be installed at service desks.
  • Customers can scheduled public computer appointments (60 minutes maximum per session) at or by calling PGCMLS Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451.
  • In-person programs, outreach activities, study room and meeting room use remain suspended.

Phase 3 – Partial Branch Access (Date TBA)

Start Date: To Be Announced

Temporary Hours: To Be Announced


  • Criteria: Physical distancing guidelines by the County Health Department have been relaxed to allow for large gatherings.
  • Capacity restrictions for public access will be partially eased, based on current guidance from the County Health Department.
  • Partial access to 16 branches will be available to the public. Baden and Mount Rainier may open, depending on the status of County Health Department physical distancing guidelines. Pop-up locations remain closed.
  • Customers may access the stacks.
  • In-person programs, outreach activities, and meeting room use remain suspended.
  • Customers may access study rooms.

Phase 4 – Full Branch Access with Physical Distancing (Date TBA)

Start Date: To Be Announced

Temporary Hours: To Be Announced


  • Criteria: Infection risk is very low or non-existent.
  • The Library is fully open to the public with extra precautions and pop-up locations reopen.
  • Some physical distancing and use of PPE may be required, based on guidance from the County Health Department.
  • In-person programs and outreach activities use may resume.
  • Meeting room use may resume if rooms are no longer needed for materials quarantine.
  • Curbside service will be suspended.
  • Customers may access study rooms.

About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. The Books from Birth and Ready 2 Read programs make the Library the primary source of early literacy education and Kindergarten readiness programs in the County.

PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.