By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Empty for now, but not empty for much longer inside the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Overbrook park location. Starting on Tuesday, this location will be one of 20 libraries across the city re-opening in-person services.

“We’re really happy to welcome the public back into our buildings,” Free Library Interim Director Leslie Walker said.

The Free Library has been open throughout the pandemic, but services were restricted to virtual and curbside pick-up in November.

Next week, visitors will once again be able to step inside to access computers and Wi-Fi.

Not to mention borrow and return books.

“We took every step, every precaution making that staff safety was the most important thing and that we were open safely for our public,” Walker said.

And that means sanitation stations are now in place throughout the library, plastic barriers are installed at the check out counters, seating areas are reorganized to provide more distance between visitors and social distancing signs and decals are around every corner.

And of course, visitors must wear a mask.

“Libraries are vital to the Philadelphia community,” Walker said. “Welcoming people back, they have the opportunity to borrow books, return books, use our Wi-Fi, access our computers, access our printers and many Philadelphians don’t have that.”

The city says in-person services will ramp up at more locations over the next few weeks. For a full list of locations and the services they offer, click here.


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