Riverhead Free Library to close on Sundays beginning in October

Riverhead Free Library will not be open on Sundays from October 2020 through April 2021 due to budgetary restrictions, according to library director Kerri McMullen-Smith.

In May, the Library Board of Directors opted to operate on the current 2019-2020 budget for 2020-2021, so there will be no increases in spending. 

The decision to cut back hours stems, in part, from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The library will remain open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Normally, the library is open Sundays from October to April according to Ms. McMullen-Smith. 

“Riverhead Free Library is here to offer services and programs to the community with the same commitment and dedication the public relies on,” library officials said in a press release. 

Currently, people may come into the library building for a 30-minute “Browse and Borrow” session, officials said. These can be done by appointment or by walk-ins, if space permits.

Ms. McMullen-Smith said they generally have not had a problem with space. “Most walk-ins are able to walk right in,” she said.

In addition to browsing appointments, patrons can also schedule a curbside pick-up appointment to pick up materials that have been requested. 

The library also offers 45-minute computer access sessions by appointment or walk-in.

Patrons should call the library at 631-727-3228 for more details. 

Library hours were previously from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Ms. McMullen-Smith said the reduced hours are due to what they are permitted to offer under the state’s guidelines. 

“We have no in-house programs now, it’s all virtual,” she said. “We will be offering outdoor programing in September and October.” 

“We’re all hopeful we will be able to expand our hours and our services soon,” she said.