The new Rockport Public Library opened to the public Thursday morning, Dec. 17.

The long-awaited opening of the new two-story, $3.5 million library came during a snowstorm and the ongoing COVID pandemic. An official dedication event will be held later this year.

The new library has been under construction throughout 2020 and features a new meeting area downstairs, and a children's library, young adult center, and a maritime collection room upstairs.

While the library will be open, there are new rules to keep visitors safe, including a limit of 10 patrons in the library at a time and a limit of 30 minutes per visit. Everyone must wear masks.

During the pandemic, the facility is limiting public computer use to one station for 30-minute sessions.

Visitors are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a 6-foot distance from other people. Some rooms have specific occupancy limits.

"The Library will not be taking any book or magazine donations at this time," library staff said.

Staff will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces multiple times a day.