San José Public Library Officially Reopens Select Branches


Elizabeth Castañeda, (408) 458-0662

Nancy Macías, (408) 712-2150

For Immediate Release

Monday, May 24, 2021

San José Public Library Officially Reopens Select Branches

After a 14-month closure, SJ Library welcomes back members of the public for limited indoor services

SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 24, 2021) – Starting today, Monday, May 24, the San José Public Library (SJPL) reopened seven branch libraries and welcomed San Joseans back to browse its shelves, check out materials, access public computers and printers, pick up holds and tech devices, and get answers to reference questions.

The first seven of SJPL’s 25 locations that reopened its doors today are: Alum Rock, Biblioteca Latinoamericana, Joyce Ellington, Tully Community, Alviso, Evergreen, and West Valley. These branches will open at a 50-percent capacity, and hours of operation will be from 1-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday.

The seven locations selected to resume services are the first set of branches outlined in SJPL’s phased approach to reopen its buildings, which prioritizes branches located in lower-resourced communities based on the Library’s equity index.

“The day we were forced to temporarily close was a hard day for so many of our staff, residents, students and their families, especially for those who depended on the library’s public computers and internet access during the pandemic,” said Jill Bourne, City Librarian. “We have been waiting for the day we could start to safely reopen to the public. This is the beginning of a new chapter in SJPL’s history and a promising future ahead for our city.”

Since the library was forced to temporarily close due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17, 2020, it had to quickly adapt its services to online only. A few months after, in June 2020, SJPL introduced Express Pickup to provide residents a safe and contactless way to access items from its physical collections including SJ Access tech devices and educational activity kits; and on April 9, 2021, select libraries started to provide limited indoor computer use only.

Library officials are continuing to work alongside the City of San José’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure more library locations are prepared to open safely based on the Santa Clara County Health Orders and the City’s safety guidelines. In the meantime, residents can still access the Express Pickup service at closed locations, indoor Tech Access at select locations, virtual programs, online chat services, and phone assistance, 7-days per week. During this time, the library will continue to not assess any late fines on overdue materials.

For more information and details about the Library’s reopening, visit


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