PORTLAND — The Portland Public Library this week began a phased approach to reopen the library, starting with making the book drop available again.

Patrons can return the materials borrowed before the library closed in mid-March. The library is requiring all patrons and staff members who use the book drop to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings.  All returned materials will be quarantined for a week before being returned to the shelves.

“PPL patrons currently have more than 25,000 books and videos circulating in the community,” said Executive Director Sarah Campbell. “We know that people are eager to return these items, though we want to also remind people that due dates are extended until June 29, so there is no immediate rush to return materials.”

The next phase of the reopening will take place next week and includes PPL-To-Go for patrons to pick up reserved materials.

Since it closed, the main library and its three branches have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.