Last Updated - July 27, 2020

Staying Safe—Together! Welcome back!

Dear Library Customers,

We are delighted to welcome you back to our buildings! Your favorite Library looks a bit different. During your visit, you will see:

  • clear shields on circulation and reference desks
  • large stickers on the floor, encouraging you to maintain a distance from others of at least six feet
  • hand sanitizer
  • fewer chairs and limited seating
  • distanced computers
  • one-way aisles
  • sanitizing activity
  • required face coverings/masks

More information on face coverings/masks is available on our website.

Our popular Outside Pick-Up Service is still available by appointment for customers who do not want to enter our buildings.

We’re in this together, and we look forward to seeing you, with our safety protocols in place.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson
Executive Director
Akron-Summit County Public Library


On July 9, Summit County moved from Risk Level 2 (orange) to Risk Level 3 (red) in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The Level 3 designation indicates a very high exposure and spread of COVID-19 in Summit County. Residents are encouraged to limit activities as much as possible and to decrease in-person interactions with others. A Level 3 designation also mandates that facial coverings be worn at all times, including any indoor location that is not a residence.

Because of the increased Risk Level in our community and supply chain delays in the delivery of needed supplies, the Library has decided to keep our buildings closed for one additional week. This means that instead of opening on July 20, we now plan to open on Monday, July 27. Please note that this date is tentative and may change based on guidance or mandates from local, state, and federal public health officials.

This decision is consistent with other metropolitan library systems in Ohio that have temporarily paused their phased in approaches to in-person service because their counties have been designated as Risk Level 3.

Outside Pick-up Service by appointment is still available at all locations, and Drive-up Window Service is available at Main Library. Telephone and e-mail reference services are also available.

When we welcome you back into our buildings, the health and safety of our staff and our customers will continue to be our top priorities. Here are the practical steps we are taking to make your Library visit as safe as possible.

In the Library you will see:

  • Face Coverings
  • Service Desk Shields
  • Physical Distancing Reminders
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • One-Way Aisles
  • Limited Seating
  • Distanced Computers
  • Quarantine Procedures for Items
  • Regular Sanitizing Activity

During your visit you’ll be asked to:

  • Wear your required face covering.
  • Keep all furniture in place.
  • Observe one-way aisles and maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.
  • Return unwanted items to the Ready to Quarantine carts.

While we are happy to be able to serve the public in new ways at this time, we are disappointed that we cannot yet open our doors. There is no substitute for the relationships we have developed with all of you, and we can’t wait to restore access to our buildings as soon as we can do so safely, for you and for our staff.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson
Executive Director
Akron-Summit County Public Library

Dear Library Customer,

I’m very happy to inform you that the Library will begin a phased-in return to service in June!

ASCPL Return to Service graphic

Beginning June 15, you will be able to return, to the book drops at all locations, any Library materials you have been keeping safe during the Library’s closure. Materials will be quarantined for three days and will not be handled again at least until day four. Our customers currently have more than 300,000 items checked out, so checking them in and getting them shelved will take some time. Please be patient as it will take a minimum of 72 hours for items to be removed from your account.  Due dates will be extended to July 15. This change will appear on your record soon.

Beginning June 29, the Library will launch Outside Pick-up Service at all locations, including Main Library, and Drive-up Window Service at Main Library. Holds, including those available at the time of the Library’s closure, will be available for pick-up by appointment. More details about this new service will be forthcoming. Additionally, the Library will return to system-wide phone service. Until then, phone service is available by calling 330-643-9103 from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

Finally, our Return to Service Plan calls for us to welcome you back to Library buildings, beginning July 20, in a deliberate and structured manner. This will be done in keeping with limitations on gatherings and on building capacity and with our commitment to make your Library experiences as safe as possible. Rules for social distancing, safety measures, and sanitizing protocols will be in place. You may continue to use Outside Pick-up and Drive-up Window services. Returns will be restricted to Library book drops. Library programs and meeting room reservations have been cancelled through July 31.

Please note that all dates are tentative and may change based on guidance from local, state, and federal health officials.

All Library employees will be trained on new safety and sanitizing protocols. Additionally, staff will be required to check their temperature at the beginning of every shift. They also will be required to wear face coverings while working. The health and safety of our staff and our customers are our top priorities.

We have missed you and look forward to seeing you again. In the meantime, please stay safe and stay healthy.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson
Executive Director
Akron-Summit County Public Library

Dear Library Customer,

As the state continues to ReStart Ohio, the Library continues to flesh out a plan for returning to physical service. Critical pre-opening preparations, including the development of safety and service protocols, are currently our focus. Among those preparations are acquiring protective equipment and materials (including clear dividers for staff and public spaces); developing procedures for collecting materials and quarantining them before returning them to Library shelves; and planning workflows required for drive-thru window and curbside pick-up service.

We intend to return to physical service in a measured and cautious fashion that will help us keep our staff and our customers as safe as we can. We urge everyone to work together to support the well-being of all: practice physical distancing, wear face coverings when in public, and wash hands frequently and properly. We need to care not only about our individual health but also about the health of those with whom we share our amazing community.

I’m very happy to announce that Library phone service will resume on Tuesday, May 19. Customers can check their account, place a hold, or learn the answers to questions (both light-hearted and serious) by calling 330-643-9103. Phone service will be available 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

I’m also very happy to share that the Library has added auto-renewal to its services for customers, a feature that more and more public libraries around the country are providing. Borrowed items will now auto-renew, making it easier to keep items without worrying about due dates. Overdue fines will not accrue while the buildings are closed. Once we begin offering physical service, items with holds will not renew so that they are returned for the next customer on the list to enjoy.

Finally, while our buildings are closed, and during the period of limited, phased-in service that is being planned, we will not be accepting donations of books, magazines, and other materials. We appreciate our customers’ generosity and will notify the public as soon as donations can resume. If you are interested in more information about providing financial support separate from the Library’s on-going tax support, please click on this link: https://www.akronlibrary.org/about/donate.

As I’ve stated before, we miss serving our community beyond the virtual service that I hope you’ve enjoyed. We will continue to keep you updated on our plans to restart access to the Library’s physical collection, and ultimately to the buildings.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and accept my best wishes for you and yours.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson
Executive Director
Akron-Summit County Public Library

Dear Library Customer,

While the ASCPL buildings remain closed, teams of Library staff are developing plans to re-open our library buildings and restart library services in the safest way we possibly can. Your health and safety, along with the health and safety of Library staff, continue to be our top priorities.

As our state moves toward a re-opening of business based on Governor DeWine’s Responsible ReStart Ohio, the Library’s plans feature a slow, cautious, and phased-in return to service. For this reason, all Library buildings will remain closed until at least May 31. We want to make sure we have the quantity and types of supplies needed and that we have developed protocols and procedures in order to conform to best practices for operating during a pandemic. Also, all Library programming has been cancelled through June 30.

We plan to begin accepting returns before we open but are still researching the safest way to manage the flood of returned items we are expecting. (Our customers currently have more than 300,000 physical items on their Library cards!) Please keep your eyes open for an announcement about opening our book returns in the next several weeks.

Additionally, please remember that we have many wonderful resources and services you can use online.

While we are happy to be able to serve the public in these new ways at this time, we are sad that we cannot yet open our doors. There is no substitute for the relationships we have developed with all of you, and we can’t wait to restore full library service as soon as we can do so safely.

I hope you are staying well and safe. On behalf of the staff, we miss you and can’t wait to see you again.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson
Executive Director

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