Richmond Public Library celebrates expanded hours with added services

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Richmond awarded $9.7M grant for Main Library upgrades
Photo of Main Library courtesy of Richmond Public Library.

After expanding hours on April 18, the Richmond Public Library is emerging from the pandemic refreshed and with new services, such as charging lockers for patrons and access to passes to State Parks, to name a few. And the Library remarked in a recent statement that it continues to plan to expand hours even further, “including Saturday hours at the Main Library and four day per week service at each Branch Library.”

The Library’s statement did not offer a timeline on when further expansion of hours would occur. But it did provide reasons why patrons should stop in or utilize its virtual services.

Beyond books, Library patrons can access computers and WiFi hotspots, Chromebooks, and laptops that can be borrowed and used at home. They can also access the Richmond Grows Seed Library; Community Science kits; career-support tools in Brainfuse VetNow/JobNow, which assists with resumes and skills-building; and a Children’s Room offering online Storytimes, reading kits and live online tutoring.

There are also e-books and magazines via Libby/OverDrive and the Palace Project, stream movies through Hoopla, and research support in ProQuest eLibrary.

“The Literacy for Every Adult Project (LEAP) offers free literacy, English as a Second Language, high school diploma completion, GED prep, and computer courses,” officials said. “The Library also has a special collection of Richmond history available by request and a consumer health information specialist.”

The Library no longer charges overdue fines, removing a barrier for borrowing for those least able to afford it, and enabling patrons with long-overdue items to return them at no cost. Replacement fees are still charged for lost materials.

The Library also encourages those who may not have used the Library since before the pandemic to visit and update or replace their cards, since accounts expire every two years. There is no fee for a replacement library card. 

“We’re really pleased to be offering more hours for people to make use of all the resources the Library offers,” said Melinda Cervantes, Library Director. “We used the pandemic shutdown to rearrange and refresh, and we’re eager for Richmond to come in and check it out.”

The Richmond Public Library’s Main Branch opens Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Bayview and West Side Branch libraries are each open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Library has served the residents of Richmond since its founding in 1910. Library information can be found at www.richmondlibrary.org.