Library reopens

Newark Free Library employee Valerie Jones prepares to scan DVDs being checked out by a patron in April.

Since the Newark Free Library reopened for limited public access April 12, library employees have been getting questions from patrons about when they will be able to browse the entire library.

The answer, officials said last week, is Friday.

That’s when the children’s room will open, and access will be granted to the entire library. Currently, access is limited to the circulation desk, computer area, DVD collection and new book collection.

The library will also offer limited seating inside, open the newspaper and magazine collection to the public, allow patrons to reserve study rooms and increase the limit on computer time from one hour to two.

“This is adding back a lot of what people are asking for,” Interim Library Manager Sherri McCarthy said.

For now, the library’s hours will remain the same. In-person services are available Monday, Friday and Saturday, with curbside pick-up available on the other days.

“Our absolute intent is to add more days when we can,” McCarthy said.

Meeting rooms will remain closed because they are a staging area for the curbside pickup program, and programs will remain virtual. McCarthy said she hopes that by the fall, the library could start offering some in-person classes and programs.

“We’re all trying to move in that direction, but we have to be deliberate and cautious,” she said.

This week marks the start of the summer reading program for kids and adults. Kids who read for 10 hours will receive a free book, and adults who read four books will be eligible for a variety of prizes. Sign up at

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