Library Buildings Open with Limited Services, Hours, and Occupancy

Library Buildings Open with Limited Services, Hours, and Occupancy

The library system's buildings are open with limited services and adjusted public hours and building occupancy outlined below following safety guidelines from the CDC, local health officials, and directives from Governor Ralph Northam. 

  • Curbside pick-up service will discontinue so library staff can carefully adjust and fully focus on serving patrons inside the building following social distancing and other safety guidelines. 
  • Patrons will be asked to limit their time inside the building to one hour.
  • Face masks will be required to be worn by all library personnel and patrons inside the buildings for the safety of everyone due to the Governor’s Executive Order 63 and the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19. 

Adjusted Public Access Hours for Library Buildings

Due to the increased time needed for specialized, one-on-one patron service and the additional cleaning and sanitizing of all public and staff space and equipment, all library building hours will be adjusted as follows to meet this need:

  • Monday – Thursday 10AM-6PM
  • Friday 10AM-5PM
  • Saturday 10AM-2PM

The following library services will be fully accessible to the public at all three library locations:

  • Self-Checkout and Returns of Physical Materials
  • Self-Service Holds/Material Pick-up Inside the Buildings
  • Print / Copy / Scan / Fax Services
  • Public Wi-Fi Access

The following library services will be available in a limited service capacity to the public at all three library locations:

  • Public Computers: a reduced number of public computers will be available and limited to one 55-minute session per day/per-patron.
  • Public Notary by appointment only
  • In-person Stewart Bell Jr. Archival research services will be available by appointment only.
  • All programs for kids, teens, and adults, including programs sponsored by the Friends of the Handley Regional Library System will continue to be enjoyed virtually.  Search here for current events.

The following library services will not be available at all three library locations to reduce the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Meeting Rooms
  • Various common gathering areas and some furniture
  • Interlibrary loans
  • All in-person programs for adults, kids, and teens, including programs sponsored by the Friends of the Handley Regional Library System
  • Children’s educational computers, toys, puzzles, and interactives
  • Donations of books and media materials
  • Library shop / Second Glance Books
  • Volunteer hours

Adjusted Operating Hours and Services for The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives

  • Research hours are adjusted to the same as the library buildings:  Monday – Thursday 10AM-6PM, Friday 10AM-5PM, Saturday 10AM-2PM
  • Appointments will be required for patrons to enter the archives department in situations where research cannot be completed online by the patron or by archives staff. A research appointment form is available by clicking here.

What to Expect When You Enter the Building

Upon entering the buildings to enjoy library services, patrons will immediately notice additional safety measures including the installation of plexiglass counter shields at all service counters, “stand here” floor decals, directional floor signage, rearranged furniture to ensure social distancing, and reoccurring cleaning and sanitization of materials, surfaces, and other areas accessed by both staff and public. 

Additional staff will also be present at all building entrances and throughout the libraries to help with new procedures, individual library service, and additional precautions to help ensure the safety of staff and the community.  Patrons will be able to continue to check-out all physical items previously available at curbside and reserve these materials as normal online or by contacting their local branch.  Items can be returned outside the building at the kiosks and inside at the designated areas. 

Statement on Clean Air Technology and Purification Available at Bowman Library, Clarke County Library, and Handley Library

Bowman Library, Clarke County Library, and Handley Library – in coordination with the efforts from their localities – have installed clean air technology to help neutralize and purify air inside the buildings, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other harmful viruses. 

Specifically, Handley Library and Bowman Library have new air systems from Atmos Air Solutions using Bi-Polar Ionization air cleaning proven to neutralize Coronavirus by 99.92%, both cleaning and decontaminating indoor air and surfaces.  Atmos Air’s website reports on the effectiveness of the air system in a laboratory report by Microchem Laboratory on their website at

Clarke County Library has four Alen BreatheSmart HEPA Air Purifiers that trap viruses and purify the air.  Research on Alen’s website explains how COVID-19 and other harmful particles are trapped, often removing over 99% of particles

Read the full statement here.

Policy Statement Regarding the Use of Face Masks Inside the Buildings

Handley Regional Library System is recognized as a public space providing fair and equal access to information and entertainment to everyone.  To this end, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for the safety of our exceptional library staff and patrons, including those most vulnerable, staff will be wearing face masks and patrons are required to wear masks inside the buildings following the order from the Governor.

The library system reports that safety, cleaning processes, and facility adjustments have been made based on recommendations from the Lord Fairfax Health District, Valley Health, the CDC, the Virginia Governor’s Office, and recommended best practices of other libraries and the American Library Association.