Library to Adjust Services Due to Omicron Surge

Changes begin Tuesday, January 18, 2022

With COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing in the Bay Area, the Palo Alto City Library is continuing to take steps to protect community health. The Library is monitoring service levels in light of the pandemic and current and potential staffing limitations. As service changes are made, updates will be posted to the Current Library Services web page. To limit in-person interactions, please consider handling service needs online.

Starting Tuesday, January 18, the following service level adjustments are subject to change as conditions evolve:

  • The Library will close Children’s, College Terrace & Downtown Libraries
    • Holds will no longer be sent to these locations for pick-up effective Friday, January 14
    • After January 18, customers with holds ready for pick-up at Downtown and College Terrace Libraries can pick-up their holds on Thursday, January 20 and Friday, January 21 between 1-5 PM at these locations
    • After January 21, holds not picked up at Downtown Library will be transferred to Rinconada Library, and holds not picked up at College Terrace Library will be transferred to Mitchell Park Library for pick up
    • Effective January 18, all holds ready for pick-up at Children’s Library will be automatically transferred to Rinconada Library for pick up
    • Customers can move their holds now by calling 650-329-2436 or emailing
    • Items can still be returned at these locations while they are closed
  • Rinconada Library will reduce hours to Wednesday-Saturday from 12-6 PM
  • Mitchell Park Library hours will remain in place, but both locations will make some changes in their buildings to allow for social distancing and limited stays:
    • Additional seating will be removed at both locations to allow for social distancing and limited visits
    • Study rooms will remain closed
    • No outside food or drink will be allowed inside to prevent unmasking
    • Some public PCs will be unavailable at both locations. Public WiFi, copy machines, wireless printing and scanning services will be available, but staff assistance will be limited
    • Staffing is limited due to vacancies and remote work, so wait times for assistance and holds may be longer
    • Customers are encouraged to keep their visits to about 45 minutes

Masks are still required for all visitors 3 years and up regardless of vaccination status. Please make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth before entering the Library. Masks are available at the front desk if needed.

Services that will remain in place include:

We understand the challenges these changes may bring, but they are being made to limit the higher risk of Covid exposure to our visitors; and to deal with our staffing limitations. We will work with the City and County to determine when it will be safe to resume services and reopen all of our branches. We appreciate your understanding and support of our services and staff.

Stay well,

Gayathri Kanth

Library Director