OPL Responds to COVID-19

Release Date

Fri, 03/13/2020
Image of Oakland Public Library

OAKLAND, Calif. - Effective Monday, March 16, the Oakland Public Library will close all Library locations, and these closures will remain in effect until further notice. This action was taken as a precaution to help limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). OPL will be in continued contact with public health officials to evaluate our facilities with this timeline. This decision was made in consultation with the City Administrator’s Office.

The time is now for decisive action to protect the public we serve on a daily basis. OPL knows our libraries serve as vital community centers and provide essential services to residents of Oakland, Piedmont and Emeryville. Provided the high-volume of people who pass through our facilities each day, it would be difficult to implement public health guidance as it relates to social distancing.

OPL understands that this action results in temporary loss of access to the in-person learning and communal spaces the Library provides to so many. However, we will continue to provide the many digital services you know and love, like ebooks, audiobooks, streaming movies, TV and music services, access to magazines and newspapers, and more.

OPL will be extending loan periods during this time, and patrons do not need to return materials until OPL is back in full operation.

Important Information to Know During Closure [Click for more in-depth details]

Why are you closed March 16 until further notice?

To help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 among the high number of residents who utilize library locations on a daily basis, and to adhere by the guidelines pertaining to social distancing recommended by the Alameda County Public Health Department.

What if I have library materials currently checked out? Or, what if I have a book on hold?

Please keep them until OPL reopens. Due dates and holds will automatically be extended to accommodate the closure period. If you have a WiFi hotspot, service will last until OPL reopens.

What services are available during the closure period?

Our physical buildings will be closed, but patrons can still access various digital services from home. For all of our digital offerings, click here.

If you have any questions about your account, please email eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org or leave a voice mail with your full name and details, at 510-238-3134. 

Can I sign up for a library card while the library is closed?

Yes. To sign up for a library card, please complete an online application and email eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org to set up your account.

Know the Facts 
The best ways to reduce the risk of getting sick apply to COVID-19. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for frequently asked questions

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze. 
  • Stay home if you are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your face. 
  • Use an alternative to shaking hands, like a wave or elbow bump. 
  • Monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials if you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections. 
  • Vulnerable individuals - defined as individuals 60+ years or who have health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems - are  recommended to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, stay home if sick, and avoid people who are sick. 
  • There is no recommendation to wear masks to prevent yourself from getting sick

Additional Resources