The Main Library will reopen as public health orders allow. (File photo)

The Santa Monica Public Library announced Wednesday that it will start offering curbside pickup in the near future. 

With the green light from county officials to deliver books to library patrons at the curb, the library will reopen book returns and launch contactless curbside holds pick-ups at certain branches. Library staff said they will announce the start of curbside service soon.

No late fees will be levied on patrons as they hold onto materials until book returns reopen. 

“The library is taking a phased approach to ensure the health and safety of our patrons and staff,” said library director Patty Wong. “We look forward to providing safe, supportive access to the library’s materials and resources. We are excited to welcome the community back.”

As libraries reopen, the number of staff and patrons inside will be limited, returned items will be quarantined and hours of operation will be altered, according to a press release. 

The library will conduct health screenings and provide personal protective equipment for library staff, clean and sanitize surfaces frequently and adapt programming to prevent infection. 

However, only the Main Library and the Pico and Montana branches are likely to reopen in the coming months as the library adapts to a proposed 40% reduction in funding.

As the city of Santa Monica makes deep cuts to avoid a budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus recession, the library has eliminated 26.5 full-time positions and laid off 80 as-needed pages.

Forty-seven remaining employees will circulate between three locations that will reopen when county officials allow libraries to resume in-person service.

According to the library’s budget plan, the Main Library will be open from noon to 8 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Residents will be able to access the Pico Branch from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The branch will prioritize youth, family and language programs in partnership with Virginia Avenue Park.

The Montana Branch will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m., offering workforce development programs, literacy classes and online high school for adults.

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