EP Public Library
Photo courtesy City of El Paso

City of El Paso announces plan to reopen Public Libraries, Museum of Archaeology

Wednesday night, officials with the City of El Paso announced their plans for the reopening of the Museum of Archaeology, as well as the phased reopening of the public libraries.

Beginning Wednesday, June 9th, residents can now visit and stay at the library. Staff have also moved and opened public seating in library branches so visitors can stay and read during operation hours.

Previously, patrons could only browse the shelves and check out materials without staying at the library.

“We are extremely excited to upgrade our services once again to resume our phased reopening,” said El Paso Public Library Director Norma Martinez. “Families will now be able to sit as a group and read together. We look forward to a full reopening in the not-too-distant future.”

In addition, book and material return bins will switch to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all currently opened library locations.

Starting Monday, June 21, patrons will resume paying fines for late materials. Overdue material will need to be returned or renewed by due dates to avoid the accrual of fines. During the pandemic, the library temporarily stopped charging fines to not burden patrons.

Computer labs will remain closed to allow the purchase and installation of automated software. The software will reduce the need for staff to intervene when assigning computers to users.

The public libraries will continue to offer a diverse array of online activities through its social media sites, as well as the El Paso Public Library website.

Also on Wednesday, officials with the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) announced the reopening of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, located at 4301 Transmountain Drive, beginning Thursday, June 24.

“The re-opening of the Museum of Archaeology along with the opening of the Camp Cohen Water Park are great illustrators of our commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Northeast El Paso and for all El Pasoans,” said Cultural Affairs and Recreation Managing Director Ben Fyffe.

The Museum of Archaeology will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, in alignment with the days of operation for the Museum of Art and the Museum of History.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the exhibition “From the Edge of Center: The Chacoan Outliers.” The exhibit includes many artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as objects on loan from the Salmon Ruins located near Farmington, New Mexico, and the San Juan County Museum Association.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the Museum of Archaeology in March of 2020.

The reopening of the museum comes under advisement from the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Management and part of the continued reactivation of City services.