NYC Public Libraries Suspend All March Events Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Update: It was announced on March 13 that all NYPL locations would be closed from March 14 until the end of March.

The New York Public Library, the Queens Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library each announced Thursday morning that in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, they will suspend all public programs from Friday, March 13 to the end of March.

The main branch of the New York Public Library. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

This cancelation includes all classes, programs and workshops at all New York City public library locations. The libraries will remain open during this time with regular hours of operation. 

Among canceled events at the NYPL are an American Civil Liberties Union centennial event featuring writers and activists, weekly Women’s Jazz Festival events and an event paying tribute to the late author Toni Morrison. 

“This was not an easy decision for us to make,” wrote NYPL president and CEO Anthony Marx in the email announcement. “The Library’s robust schedule of programs is an important resource for New Yorkers of all ages. However, out of an abundance of caution, we feel that this is the best way that the Library can support the City’s efforts to discourage crowds during this challenging time.”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the three libraries have taken measures to assuage the spread of coronavirus, such as increasing the frequency of cleaning and removing non-essential high-touch items, such as children’s toys. 

“At times like these,” wrote Marx, “even if we cannot physically gather together, we need to support one another.”

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