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Posted November 17, 2020 | 2:43 PM

Nine Hillsborough County Library Locations Reopen

Throughout pandemic, all library services available virtually

Nine Hillsborough County libraries reopened with restrictions on Nov. 16, giving patrons direct access to materials including books and computers.

The County's 27 locations closed in late March to comply with COVID-19 precautions. Tropical Storm Eta briefly delayed the reopening as emergency managers and County officials prepared for potential impacts.

Here are Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) locations that are open, followed by their hours of operation and temporary restrictions:

Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico

C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library, 2607 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Tampa

Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave. in Tampa

Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave. in Tampa

Maureen B. Gauzza Public Library, 11211 Countryway Blvd. in Tampa

New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd. in Tampa

North Tampa Branch Library, 8916 North Blvd. in Tampa

SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin

Town 'N Country Regional Public Library, 7606 Paula Drive, Suite. 120 in Tampa

The buildings are available to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

Designated areas within these libraries are open at 25 percent capacity, with required safety protocols such as the wearing of masks and social distancing. Other safety measures include:

  • Visits are limited to one hour.
  • Children under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent.
  • Temperature checks are conducted at the door.
  • Study rooms, meeting rooms, makerspace, and recording studios are not available.

In a virtual sense, the County's libraries never closed. Throughout the pandemic all HCPLC services were available. Patrons could download books, movies, and music, and ask to have books mailed to their homes. The libraries saw a spike in attendance of virtual classes with people working from home, seeking to improve skills or learn new ones, and looking for things to do.

Health experts, emergency managers, Hillsborough County officials, and HCPLC leaders approved reopening in a limited capacity. More library branches, including the John F. Germany Public Library at 900 N. Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa, will reopen as part of the library's phased reopening plan.

For more information, visit HCPLC.org.

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