San Mateo County Libraries is Excited to Announce New Express Service


Katie Woods
San Mateo County Libraries, opens a new window

SAN MATEO, CA — San Mateo County Libraries is thrilled to welcome our community back and reopen our doors with limited in-library services beginning Thursday, April 22.

Modified in-library, or Express Service, opens a new window, is the next step in a careful, phased approach to reinstituting library offerings and access. The decision to offer Express Service follows months of planning and San Mateo County’s move to the “orange tier” of California’s coronavirus tier system. Library staff have worked closely with our 12 member cities, towns and county to prepare for reopening.

“After months of careful planning, we’re very pleased to take this next step in safely expanding library access and services to our communities,” said Library JPA Governing Board Chair and Millbrae Council member Reuben Holober. “Our outstanding staff have been working hard to create an in-library experience that is both welcoming and safe for the public and staff.”

Starting the week of April 19, San Mateo County Libraries will expand hours and begin in-library, Express Service while also continuing to offer popular curbside services. Express Service will be available at most locations 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and include in-library browsing, Wi-Fi access, and computer and printer access.

Express Service has been planned with thoughtful care and safety precautions. While utilizing in-library services, patrons will be required to wear masks and abide by physical distancing guidelines. Building capacity and seating will be limited and libraries will close midday for high-touch surface cleaning. So that everyone can enjoy the library, community members will be encouraged to limit visits to 60 minutes.

For community members who prefer a contact-free experience, curbside services, opens a new window, which include holds pickup, printing, and no-appointment walk-up service, will continue to be available at most locations on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additionally, the Libraries’ beloved programs and events will continue in a virtual setting.

“Although we are exceptionally proud of our new curbside and virtual services, welcoming patrons back to in-library services will be a happy moment for all of us,” said Anne-Marie Despain, Library Director.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, San Mateo County Libraries made the difficult decision to close facilities to the public on March 16, 2020. Staff quickly pivoted to providing online resources, virtual programs, and robust curbside services to serve the needs of our communities during unprecedented times. Libraries will continue to offer an expanding array of digital materials, online resources, and an exciting lineup of virtual programs and events for all ages.

Learn more about our new library Express Service at, opens a new window. Additional news and updates about library operations and services are available on, opens a new window