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New Orleans libraries to close indefinitely

Library employees who are scheduled to work should report to work as normal, but the libraries will be closed to the public.
Credit: jovan_epn
Close up of books on desk in library.

NEW ORLEANS — All branches of the New Orleans Public Library system will close indefinitely starting Monday, according to an email sent to library staff. 

Public library employees received an email Sunday saying New Orleans public libraries will be temporarily closed beginning Monday.

Library employees who are scheduled to work Monday were asked to report to work as normal, but were told the libraries will be closed to the public.

Some library employees expressed concern about the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, if libraries were kept open, especially without specific training and disinfecting supplies in place.

Hundreds of library patrons signed a MoveOn.org petition encouraging Mayor LaToya Cantrell to close the libraries, but city officials have been counting on the free computer and internet access for thousands of children who are now home from school.

Initially, employees were told there would be some limit on public access without details.

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