Library system to open all locations on July 17

We are pleased to announce the next phase of reopening.

Yes, we're open.

On July 17, all locations of the Knox County Public Library will open on their regular schedules. This move expands library service from its current schedule with eight open locations. There are 19 facilities in the library system, which includes the East Tennessee History Center. The remaining 67 employees who have been furloughed will be brought back to work.

The Library will resume service with provisions in place for the safety and welfare of patrons and staff. In compliance with the Knox County Board of Health (Regulation #2020-1), all patrons and staff must wear face coverings inside the buildings except for children 12 years and younger and people with relevant medical conditions. Masks will be made available for those who may not have one.

Each Library has been fully sanitized and equipped with plexiglass sneeze shields at service counters. Available seating has been arranged to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. No public computers will be available; however, every location is equipped with Wi-Fi. The Library will continue to isolate all returned materials for 72 hours to ensure the safe handling of books, CDs, DVDs and other materials. Storytimes, other programs and meeting room use will be suspended until further notice.

“We are very happy to be able to reopen all facilities for our patrons,” commented Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “The library provides important services to our community from early literacy to lifelong learning.”

Although the library is not able to offer in-person programs, many storytimes, podcasts and other programs are available online at www.knoxlib.org.

What you need to know

When will storytimes, programs and meeting room use be reinstated?

We plan to reinstate all library services including storytimes, programs and meeting room use as soon as it is safe to do so. We are following guidance from the Knox County Health Department and the CDC. Since we do not know when that will be, we are not scheduling meeting rooms for the time being.

What about holds?

Holds have been reinstated and are functioning as usual.

What about fines and fees?

All overdue fines have been waived for the time being. However, you are still responsible for damaged or lost materials.

Is the Library cleaning all the books, DVDs and Playaways?

The Library is following procedures recommended by the CDC and Knox County Health Department for decontaminating library materials which is to quarantine all returned materials for 72 hours. Library buildings were deep-cleaned and disinfected during the closure. We will continue doing this.

Has the Library considered offering curbside service?

We now offer curbside service, called Library-to-Go.

Can I borrow material through InterLibrary Loan?

Yes, interlibrary loan service resumed as of June 17.

Are public computers available?

Due to their high-touch nature, public computers are not available until further notice. Each library location is equipped with Wi-Fi for personal devices.

Are patrons required to wear a mask at the library?

Yes, following the guidance from the Knox County Health Department to help keep our community safe.

The five core actions include:

  • Practicing social distancing 
  • Wear cloth face coverings 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer 
  • Clean frequently-touched surfaces 
  • Stay home when sick