Kent Free Library welcomes patrons back after closing its doors due to COVID-19


The Kent Free Library is located on 312 West Main St. in Kent, Ohio.

Gina Schlegel Reporter

Kent Free Library reopened its doors on June 22 after offering curbside service for several weeks. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for seniors and high-risk patrons. 

Stacey Richardson, the Kent Free Library Director, explained that they now offer contactless hold pickup, where patrons can come in the lobby and get their book off a cart then use a self checkout kiosk to check their items out. 


The library staff still plan on offering curbside service and the drive-through window for anyone who is uncomfortable about coming into the building. 


Deborah Douglas, a patron of the Kent Free Library, explained that she has used both the drive-through service and book drop-box since Covid-19 shutdowns. 


“I am glad that the library is open and functioning during the pandemic,” said Douglas. “They provide a lot of resources for the public during these challenging times.”


The building capacity has been reduced to 150 people, including staff. All staff are required to wear masks, while patrons are recommended to wear one. 


“We are encouraging people to spend no more than one hour at a time in the building,” Richardson said. 


As of now, study and conference rooms are not available to be booked for groups until further notice. 


Kent Free Library is offering free virtual events on their Facebook page for both children and adults. These virtual events range from book clubs, virtual board game clubs, virtual film clubs and more. 


“We were excited to be able to open again,” said Richardson, “We’re happy to see our patrons come back to the building, even if it is in this reduced capacity right now.” 

Gina Schlegel covers construction and downtown. Contact her at [email protected]