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LuEsther T. Mertz Library
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The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Reopening Plan & Services: Library Reopening Plan

The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Reopening Plan

The LuEsther T. Mertz Library reopening plan is in line with the New York Botanical Garden protocols, which were established based on  New York State and New York City guidelines. The approach is to reopen the Garden in a phased timeline, which allows us to evaluate progress and gradually increase access, activities, and programs. You can find Garden updates related to reopening plans on the NYBG site.

The safety and health of visitors and staff is our top priority, as well as caring for our collections and space. At this time, the LuEsther T.  Mertz Library is closed to the public for in-person visitation. Please continue to check the NYBG homepage for updates. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Health and Safety Protocol Summary for Staff and Collections

Remember: there is a lot of information about COVID-19 being shared. Always evaluate and think critically about any health information you find.

Employees are required to protect themselves and others by following the applicable NYBG and Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines which include the following:

  • Practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet)
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often 
  • Wear an appropriate face covering 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick or symptomatic

Collections in Libraries and Museums have been used in several studies to determine the spread and lifespan of COVID-19 virus on the materials. To read more about the studies conducted visit REALM Project Results from the studies are still being analyzed. However, it had been recommended that we take the following precautions regarding all collection materials until further information is available:

  • Materials should be quarantined for 96 hours. Disinfecting all materials with chemicals can be costly, time consuming, and depending on the cleaner, damage the items.
  • The virus lasts longer on smoother surfaces including book covers and not as long on porous materials such as paper and cardboard.
  • Extend Loan Periods. Give patrons more time to return items so they can delay their return to the library.
  • Increase number of Checked out Materials. If patrons can check more items out, they can delay their return to the library.

Disinfecting all materials with chemicals, exposure to UV rays and placing in microwave are not recommended for library materials because they can damage the items.

In this guide you'll find information related to library services, technical help, online resources and additional COVID-19 information. If you have additional questions or are in need of research assistance please contact us at the Library Reference email In addition, we are closely monitoring studies that address the spread and lifespan of the COVID-19 virus in Library and Museum collections (resources available through the REALM Project).

NYBG Staff Information

NYBG Staff seeking information about NYBG's larger reopening plan and documents please review the NYBG Staff Hub. The NYBG Staff Hub is password-protected. If you have forgotten your password contact the NYBG IT team at

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Library Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 4pm

Thursday: 10am - 4pm

Friday: 10am - 4pm 

Sat & Sun: Closed