May 27, 2022

NY Times: “Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen”

From The NY Times:

Libraries around the country are tiptoeing toward reopening, but they’re not just trying to figure out how to safely lend out books. These are community hubs where parents bring their toddlers for story time, where people come to use the computer, where book groups meet. Now all of that has to be rethought.

“It’s awful because it’s the opposite of what we normally try to do,” said Karen Kleckner Keefe, the executive director of the Hinsdale Public Library just outside of Chicago. “We want to be the community living room, we want everyone to stay and get comfortable. And to design service to prevent lingering and talking is so different from everything we’ve been working toward.”


Joel Jones, deputy director of library services at the Kansas City Public Library, said he was especially concerned with getting vulnerable populations in the door first. He said his system expects to welcome their first visitors this month through referrals from organizations that work with people with mental illness or those experiencing poverty or homelessness.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1050 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.