FredericK County Public Libraries Begin Tiered Reopening

The branches will still be closed, but patrons can borrow materials on hold.


Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Public Library System will begin  a tiered reopening this week.

Sheila McDuff, Associate Director for Public Services, says residents can check out materials. “It will be primarily using the hold system. Customers can either place their hold on line, or they can call one of our branches  and  our staff will place the holds for them. And then when the holds are ready for pickup, they schedule an appointment and they arrive at their assigned  time,” she says.

Each library branch will provide curbside service for residents who come by and pick up the materials they have on hold, McDuff says.

There will also be bookdrops  placed outside of the libraries for residents to return materials. “We have extended due dates. Fines are not being assessed and we encourage customers to keep their items at home if they can do so just to decrease  the amount of contact our staff has to have to with items,” says McDuff.

The county’s public libraries were closed in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and they will remain closed for the time being. “We feel like this stage honors the ‘safer at home’ stage that the state is in. And we’ll taking our guidance for state and local officials about when it would be safe to move to a further tier,” say McDuff.

Despite the closure, she says the Library System has a new way to serve the community. “We’ve been able to engage on line with virtual programming in a way that we’ve not been able to do before,” McDuff says. “We’ve been offering daily story times and other programs to the public, and we’ve had an amazing response to that.”

The Library System say the COVID-19 pandemic has not put a stop to the 2020 Summer Challenge, which will be all virtual this year. This year’s challenge is “Explore, Invent, and Transform Your Story.”

For more information on the Summer Challenge and other Library System programs you can go on line to


By Kevin McManus