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INDIANAPOLIS — All Indianapolis Public Library branches will return to fall service levels on Monday, Feb. 15.

This change means patrons will be allowed to enter the library for computer use, browsing, hold pickup, and self-checkout. 

A one-hour time limit will be enforced if a branch reaches capacity. Due to the size and needs of the Central Library, a one-hour time limit will continue to be enforced there via a badging system.

The change was approved by the Library Board after a consultation with Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department.

Dr. Caine said at a Library board meeting in January that she anticipates fewer COVID-19 cases because the holiday virus peak is behind us and the COVID positivity rate in the community is at its lowest rate since late October and early November.

“Dr. Caine’s remarks about contact tracing give us confidence that libraries are not places where virus transmission is likely,” said Jackie Nytes, The Library’s chief executive officer. “Our ability to offer access to computers and our vast collection of materials is seen as a way to help the mental health of those in our community who are isolated and in need of a positive escape. The consequences of this virus go beyond physical ailment, and The Library has a role in supporting the community in this way.”

Library visitors may bring their personal laptops and electronic devices into library branches to use the internet, though they are asked to keep their visits brief to allow the next visitor entry.

The Library will continue to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing inside buildings. All Library programming and events will remain online.