It looks like things are looking up for students, bookworms, children, and library lovers all around Sacramento this year. Sacramento Public Library recently announced on February 1st that 21 library locations will be open for browsing starting February 9th. 

Arcade, Arden-Dimick, Belle Cooledge, Carmichael, Colonial Heights, Del Paso Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Galt-Marian O. Lawrence, Isleton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nonie Wetzel Courtland, North Highlands-Antelope, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven, Southgate, South Natomas, Sylvan Oaks, Valley Hi-North Laguna, and Walnut Grove will all be opening up on February 9th for 1-hour browsing with covid safety procedures and measures.

The browsing policy for these 21 locations will give you up to one hour to browse for your favorite books, magazines, and movies. Along with the new browsing services, most of the libraries offer the infamous curbside pickup which allows you to pick up and return books and items from the library Tuesdays-Saturdays; as well as 1-hour computer appointments.

Masks, social distancing, hand-sanitizing stations, and limited occupancy are some of the main safety measures being used to protect library-goers from the virus. 

Reopening plans come just after Governor of California Gavin Newson lifts stay-at-home order for Sacramento residents and all of California officially on Jan 25th, 2021. Since then, Sacramento residents have been seen partaking in outside activities and becoming hopeful for an almost COVID-free future.

Reopening plans for Sacramento Libraries are predicted to make large impacts for Sacramento’s youth and greater community who once used it as an essential resource for school, technology, and a safe space. 

Digital self-portrait of Iris Estrada, drawn by Iris Estrada.

Iris Estrada, a junior at Laguna Creek High School, spoke about her connection with the library and how she saw the reopening being a great thing for not only herself but for many youth and adults around Sacramento who may share a similar love for the library as she.

“At break time I never really liked being around a bunch of people, it made me anxious, so I would go there and get some chill time by myself, draw or read a book” 

Iris, 17, is also a skilled artist in painting, digital animation, drawing, sketching, etc. She talked about how the library served as a place for her to create and practice her skills. “That was the main reason I went into the library most of the time, it was to draw in quiet…There was this little corner with a table in it…was usually dark and crowded back there and I liked it, I liked to go back there and draw and read. It made me feel more comfortable, less vulnerable,” Iris said.

“I understand where they’re coming from, in terms of the escape part,” Iris explained. Iris spoke about the library being a place for kids going through tough situations at home, at school, or even students without internet access needing the library to cope and how the pandemic has affected their situation. “For other kids, it could be detrimental, and that’s tragic,” said Iris.

The reopening plans for the library could potentially help fix some of those issues occurring before, and now to an even greater extent because of the pandemic. “It’s great, go read a book! Get out of the house, and go read a book,” Iris said in a hearty message to youth and adults around Sacramento.

To find out more about Sacramento Public libraries reopening plans visit saclibrary.org. You can find Iris Estrada and her artwork on Instagram @outerloss.