By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Enoch Pratt Free Library is scaling back its hours in January as part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Besides reducing its hours, the library announced on Monday that it is shifting in-person programs online and suspending its passport services.

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Starting on Jan. 3, library branches will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. The locations will be closed Sundays and Mondays.

Pratt Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel lamented the reduced hours but said the move was necessary to protect customers and employees.

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“This temporary January schedule allows us to stagger staffing to increase social distancing in our buildings and accommodate staff who need to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure,” Daniel said.

The enhanced safety measures come as Maryland grapples with surging COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Guests are still required to follow the library’s existing COVID-19 protocols, which include health screenings and wearing face masks indoors.

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The library is lending out WiFi hotspots and tablets to customers in need, and it is also offering drive-up WiFi access at nine locations.

CBS Baltimore Staff