Chattanooga Public Library to reopen after more than a year amid pandemic

Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / The Chattanooga Public Library is photographed Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

For the first time since the Chattanooga Public Library closed its doors more than a year ago amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the library will reopen for book browsing at all of its city locations, according to a news release.

Beginning May 3, residents are allowed to book browse, as well as use other public services such as the library computers and the U.S. Passport Acceptance Office. Social distancing is strongly encouraged, and the library is requiring safety guidelines to be followed in accordance with Mayor Tim Kelly's recent executive order, the release states.

"When we first closed our doors over a year ago, we knew the lack of book browsing would impact our patrons the hardest," Executive Director Corinne Hill said in a released statement. "Our staff have been incredibly innovative about delivering services virtually and through curbside concierge, but nothing really replaces the feeling of walking down an aisle of bookshelves."

The curbside concierge services, including curbside pickup, will still be available along with the library's digital programs. A full list of safety guidelines can be found at

-- Compiled by Kiara Green