Library Update – June 2020 -1

Update on Library Services: Curbside Projected to Begin this Summer!

Greetings to you,

We are very happy that the pandemic has abated enough that our region is taking its first steps to reopening. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how much hard work this community has done to reduce the spread of infection so this could happen. Let’s also remember the people in our community who are suffering because of this virus.

Some good news – you will soon be hearing of certain libraries reopening with curbside service in our region. New York State has indeed allowed certain types of libraries to reopen in Phase 1, which does not yet include association libraries such as ours. However, we anticipate we will get the green light from Albany soon!

This is exciting because while our online and telephone services have been very popular, our librarians want to offer you the maximum service possible.

When is the Phoenicia Library going to be reopen? While a few factors are outside our control, we hope to be able to offer curbside service at the start of the summer in a few weeks. The director, staff and board are all currently working on a written plan that must meet state and insurance requirements to safely do this. We are addressing new safety and cleaning procedures, rules on everything from sick leave to daily health screens, attempting to obtain required disinfectants, and most of all, starting staff training on this entirely novel way of doing library business.

What services will the library be offering? We anticipate that we will be able to offer contactless curbside service. Patrons will be able to order books online or on the phone and come pick them up at the library on the covered walkway. Patrons will not be able to be in the building during this phase. The staff is looking at home delivery options for vulnerable patrons.

What services does the library currently offer? The library is actually already open, providing online and telephonic services. If you haven’t already checked them out, please visit here ( . We will keep these online services available to you for the remainder of the year, if not longer. Our online ebooks and audiobooks and our online programs have proven to be unexpectedly popular.

Each library is unique. Part of the rush to reopen broadly has been to stimulate the nose-diving economy. The library, as a service non-profit, doesn’t stimulate the economy as a restaurant or shop might, so the economic rush to throw open our doors is not there. Instead, the message we are getting from our patrons is that they are looking to us to be an example of how to do this right, so their and our safety is assured. Each library in the state has different demographics and vulnerabilities, and each community will reopen according to that.

In closing, each one of you matters to us. We know we matter to you. Therefore, we are taking this step slowly and cautiously, perhaps more so than other libraries that have different demographics. We have always felt your support, and we know you will support us as we find the best way to safely provide the maximum services we can for you.

Liz Potter

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