ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany Public Library is returning to normal operations after the Board of Trustees removed the State of Emergency that was put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020. The board unanimously voted to rescind the State of Emergency at its regular meeting on May 10. The move takes effect immediately.

This means that you are not required to wear masks inside Albany Library buildings anymore. However, due to the high rate of COVID transmission in the community and Albany County’s recommendation, the library is strongly suggesting that visitors and staff wear masks while indoors. Masks will be available at all library locations for those who’d like to wear one.

The library is also returning to a normal state of operations. Services and programs are being offered without any pandemic restrictions. At times, staff capacity may limit what is available at a particular location.

“Over the past two years, Albany Public Library has learned best practices to keep our staff and patrons safe while still providing services to the community within our organizational capacity. By lifting the State of Emergency and pandemic operations protocols, which restricted services across all locations, our staff will be able to pivot services as needed. We will be better equipped to make changes at a micro or branch level, when needed, in order to continue to provide programming, meeting spaces, in-person services, and other resources,” said APL Interim Director Melanie Metzger.

Every branch of the library is open for in-person services, except for North Albany. The North Albany branch is currently closed for renovations.