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ArlingtonEducationArlington library system reopens two branches

Arlington library system reopens two branches

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Even molasses eventually gets where it’s going, and the otiose return to service of Arlington’s library system has taken a small step forward this week.

(For those library lovers of a literary bent, “otiose” means “leisurely.” But we digress.)

County officials on March 9 reopened the Shirlington and Westover branch libraries, albeit with curtailed hours and limiting the public to no more than 15 minutes inside at any one time.

Where the reopening plan goes from here is anyone’s guess.

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“All other branches remain closed at this time, and a reopening date for the remaining branches has not yet been determined,” library officials said.

The library system’s leadership “continues to work closely with county-government leadership and the Department of Public Health to make decisions about library operations,” officials said.

The two branch libraries will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Libraries were shuttered last spring when pandemic panic breached the walls of Northern Virginia. While libraries in many other parts of the country reopened last summer with health protocols in place, Arlington’s have remained locked tight.

Residents have been allowed to order books online and pick them up at Central Library; pickups now also will be available at Shirlington and Westover.

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