The Palo Alto City Library has expanded the hours of its Mitchell Park and Rinconada branches, as part of its plan to fully reopen libraries.

“It’s a good number of hours per week that we’re adding in this kind of interim period,” Supervising Librarian Marleah Augustine said. “And then we’re hoping to continue expanding as time goes on and everything gets more streamlined with staffing and safety concerns.”

On top of the expansion of hours, the library is also working on filling positions left vacant as a result of the city’s budget cuts at the height of the pandemic last year.

This increase in hours already symbolizes a slow but sure return to normalcy for the library.

“It’s nice to have people back in the building,” library staff member Kevin Guerato said. “I missed helping people; that’s what I loved about this job.”


“It’s nice to have people back in the building. I missed helping people; that’s what I loved about this job.”

— Kevin Guerato, library staff member


Mitchell Park Library will expand its Tuesday-Thursday hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Rinconada Library will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Palo Alto libraries have always served as a place for teens such as Ellen Fletcher Middle School student Mei Elgarrari to “do their homework, have some time to forget stress and be able to read.” 

Elgarrari said the upcoming expansion of hours will allow her to visit the library more frequently.