Omaha Public Library announces phased reopening plan and new hours

Omaha Public Library (OPL) closed on March 16, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and remained closed due to City of Omaha budget concerns. Following the approval of CARES Act funding by the state and county, Mayor Jean Stothert announced on August 25 that libraries may reopen. Learn more about OPL's safety guidelines in response to COVID-19 here, opens a new window.

OPL Executive Director Laura Marlane worked with the library Board of Trustees and staff to develop a phased reopening plan that begins Monday, Sept. 21. Library branches that have been providing curbside service will suspend curbside operations between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 to prepare for reopening. Curbside services will resume at all branches during normal operating hours.

Following reopening, OPL branches will be open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Three branch locations (Millard Branch, Milton R. Abrahams Branch and W. Dale Clark Main Library) will offer Sunday hours, 1-5 p.m., upon reopening. Masks will be required for all OPL visitors until further notice.

  • Monday, Sept. 21: Five branches will open.
    • Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, 402-289-4367
    • Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave., 402-444-4849
    • Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848
    • Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284
    • Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St., 402-444-4851
  • Monday, Sept. 28: Three additional branches will open.
    • A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St., 402-444-5274
    • Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St., 402-444-4846
    • Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St., 402-444-5299
  • The opening dates for the remaining four branches will be announced at a later time.
    • Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., 402-444-5780
    • W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., 402-444-4800
    • W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Rd., 402-444-4852
    • South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., 402-444-4850

Book drops will open as branches reopen beginning Sept. 21, and items checked out will resume normal due dates. Items checked out during OPL’s closure will be due for return on Oct. 19. Items placed on hold shelves in the branches prior to Oct. 1 that are waiting to be picked up will expire and be made available to other patrons on Oct. 15. 

Meeting and study rooms will not be available for reservation for the foreseeable future. Computers will be available for public use, however, due to physical distancing, there will be fewer computers available.

“Things will look a little different than prior to our closure,” Marlane said, “but there are also many exciting changes. Branches that were previously open five days a week will now be open six days a week, and adding curbside service is another great benefit that our patrons have come to appreciate.”

As more information becomes available, OPL will provide updates on its website, omahalibrary.org, as well as through its social media channels and email. Library staff will also be available to answer questions at 402-444-4800 or through ask.omahalibrary.org.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs and resources offered at Omaha Public Library.