Tuscaloosa Public Library Temporarily Closes Amid Virus Concerns

Ryan Phillips

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Tuscaloosa Public Library has opted to temporarily close all of its locations through the beginning of the new year amid a rise in local coronavirus cases driving hospitalizations numbers up in across the region and state.

The locations will be closed starting on Tuesday through Jan. 5, 2021. The library system says the three locations are scheduled to reopen to patrons and the public on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

Click here to subscribe to our daily email newsletters and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox and mobile devices for free. You can also support local journalism by donating as little as $5 a month to become a supporting member or by downloading our free Patch mobile app.

The Tuscaloosa Public Library said it chose to shut its doors to support the health and well-being of those in its service area, along with keeping an eye toward the safety of its patrons and staff.

"It was a very hard decision, as TPL is dedicated to serving the patrons, but the best way to serve our community now, is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19," said library spokesperson Vince Bellofatto in an email.

Bellofatto says the library will be in close contact with its board of trustees and will continue to evaluate the situation.

During the closure, there will be no fines charged as patrons are asked to keep materials until the library reopens. While the book drop will be open at the main Tuscaloosa branch, they will be closed at the Weaver Bolden and Brown branches. Curbside service will also be suspended.

Library cards that expire while the library is closed will be automatically renewed until Feb. 3, 2021.

Follow Patch here for updates or on Facebook and Twitter.

This article originally appeared on the Tuscaloosa Patch