Libraries Turning the Page, Take Steps Toward Reopening

Public libraries throughout towns are taking steps to gradually reopen their buildings to patrons.

Librarians have been working remotely since the shutdown to provide an impressive menu of  educational and fun programming, from musical performances to classroom help to contests, in an effort to inspire or otherwise keep residents of ages engaged.

Commack Public Library announced on Facebook Tuesday that it is preparing for curbside service that it hopes would start June 15, with a schedule to be announced later.

“We look forward to welcoming you back just as soon as we are able to do so and we would like to thank you for all your patience while we have been closed to the public,” Library Director Laurie Rosenthal and assistant director Joanne Albano wrote.

Virtual programming will continue until further notice, but starting June 1, staff members will be answering phones. Commack is also reopening its book drop from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and plans further hours. No late fees are involved.

Here’s what some other libraries are doing:

Phase 1 – Staff only to get buildings ready – operating on reduced hours to be determined.
Phase 2 – Offer curbside pickup – possibly operating on reduced hours to be determined.
Phase 3 – Open up with restricted use of buildings.
Phase 4 – Open up with a little less restrictions on building use. 
The plan is to start Phase 1 on June 1, with hopes of moving to Phase 2 by mid-June, depending on the health metrics of the community. 
“All of the staff at the Huntington Public Library are eager to get back in the building and start providing in-person services again,”  Joanne Adam, director, said. “While we have enjoyed doing what we can remotely, we miss the interaction of our patrons and look forward to seeing them soon!”
Half Hollow Hills Community Library  is planning on curbside service beginning mid-June.

All events will remain virtual through August including the Summer Reading Experience.

“Over the last 10 weeks, we have been overjoyed with the response to our virtual events and access to digit resources. With NYS entering Phase I, we plan to offer curbside pick in mid-June. Access to virtual events and resources will continue,” said Helen Crosson, library director.

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