After more than a year of services limited to curbside pickup and drop-off services, the Phoenix Public Library has reopened some in-building services, including computer use, access to Wi-Fi hotspots and checking out materials.
The City Council this month unanimously approved a plan that will return in-building visits to 16 library branches. Other libraries in Arizona, including Maricopa County Libraries and the Glendale and Scottsdale city libraries, also restored some indoor services as pandemic restrictions eased.
Phoenix library representatives have said they’re happy to welcome back patrons and have worked with health officials to establish safety protocols for employees and visitors.
But Fobazi Ettarh, 31, who calls herself a radical librarian working in “librarianship, education, activism, and all the intersections in between,” says restoring in-person services in libraries ignores longstanding inequities that need long-term solutions. If libraries return to operating as before the pandemic, she says, it would mean Americans are content to continue to rely on libraries to fill gaps in social services.
Report From Arizona: “Why This ‘Radical Librarian’ Believes Libraries, to Address Inequity, Should Keep Buildings Closed”
Filed by April 30, 2021on