Why is it okay for a public library to be fully open during covid but not a community college?

The largest public library system in my county, all 30 branch locations, are open seven days per week, evenings, weekends, etc.

just like from before the pandemic started.

The Community College in the same county, (made up of four campuses), is forcing most classes to be remote.  the college library and computer lab hours are restricted to 2 days per week, limited hours.

Same freakin county.

Why is one okay to open and not the other???


They both mandate masks.

Update 2:

@skeptik: Okay: you may have point there that the college classroom would create much less space......but what about the college library?  

isn't a college library versus a public library apples to apples?

Update 3:

@skeptic: well enrolling in college is a voluntary thing too.

5 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because they are owned and operated far differently.  To have a college library open you would need to have college security and library staff in place, parking, etc which is paid for from tuition not being collected, also, the general public is not always allowed inside a college library and if no one to limited students are on campus it doesn't  seem useful to have one facility open so a handful of outsiders not paying tuition, to use it. So no its not apples to apples.

  • 1 month ago

    Not too surprised by the lack of consistency across all services. However, do note that library patrons typically do not sit together in groups in close quarters for extended periods. Unlike a classroom where many (even 100-200 in a lecture hall!) will sit close together in one room for at least 45-60 minutes at a time. Library patrons often pick up a batch of books & leave, or spread out to quietly read, not in any close proximity to other patrons. Perhaps this was the rationale? Or who knows who is thinking what....

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Lucky you, here in the U.k libraries are still closed. We can order online and collect at the door.

    Gone on too long.

  • 1 month ago

    Have you ever seen a crowded classroom?

    Have you ever seen a crowded public library?


    Re: your update - 

    No, it really isn't "apples to apples."

    College libraries are just as crowded as college classrooms, and for the same reason.  Because college students have to use them.

    Public libraries are used on an entirely voluntary basis, by members of the public for their own edification.

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  • 1 month ago

    Public libraries are not as sparsely populated.  You can sit down and read a book, or use a computer, and remain more than 6' away from the next person.  Plus they mandate masks, which I don't think most schools do (I could be wrong).

    I was on a trip a couple months ago.  Usually when I'm traveling I start my day at Starbucks, sipping a coffee while I catch up on my e-mail and plan the next day on the computer.  Starbucks' are all closed (except for takeout) so instead I used libraries.  The libraries I visited all had protocols in place.  In one, the library lady had to go over the keyboard and mouse with alcohol between customers.  Everyone was wearing a mask and they were monitoring distances between people.  I felt relatively safe.

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