The area’s libraries are closed to the public as COVID-19 spreads, but they are not totally shut down.
“The library building may be closed but we are still open as a community resource,” Charlotte Library Director Margaret Woodruff said.
The Charlotte Library’s doors are closed at least until April 6.
Woodruff asks patrons who know what books, DVDs or other resources they are looking for to call (802-425-3864) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The library staff will package requests and leave them on the library porch with the recipient’s name.
For people who are unable to leave their home, the library will offer home delivery.
There are additional digital offerings on Libby, which is an app for audio books and e-books for use with your library card, Woodruff said in a letter on the library’s website.
Items that are checked out don’t have to be renewed; the library is automatically renewing them.
People who live in Charlotte who do not have a library card can get cards remotely by calling or emailing.
The Carpenter-Carse Library in Hinesburg anticipates being closed for the duration of the school closure but will re-evaluate in late March.
“This was a difficult choice, but as is becoming clear that viruses have no respect for boundaries,” Library Director Beth Royer said in a letter on the library’s website.
Like other area libraries they can deliver books “if you are desperately in need of reading material.”
The library brought a moment of levity to the serious situation on its Facebook page:
“Due dates be damned, they will not matter until April 6 so relax. You can return stuff in the meantime, we will be checking the drop box, Wi-Fi stays on if you need to use your device in the parking lot. We will be instituting a system for materials pickup if you need something in the meantime, possibly curbside pickup.”
Get in touch with requests or questions by email (email@example.com) or phone 482-2878. Keep up to date by visiting the website at carpentercarse.org.
Pierson Library Director Kevin Unrath commented on the contradiction of having to close their library. “Pierson Library’s motto is: Learning, gathering and celebrating community,” he said in an email. “It is the ‘gathering’ part – normally such a strength – that in this case makes keeping our facility open a weakness.”
He said they have been doing everything they can to disinfect surfaces and prohibit the spread of the virus, but “we cannot guarantee that the virus will not spread through exposure at the library.”
So, like others around the area, the Pierson Library is closed.
Unrath quoted the director of the Craftsbury library, saying, “I watched many groups from differing sectors of our community cross paths in the library. Under normal circumstances, this is what makes the library a powerful force in the community, but yesterday this interaction was the piece that pushed me to reconsider the relative danger of remaining open.”
Shelburne residents can get parking lot pickup of books and movies. By calling 985-5124 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pierson is offering a free lending library at the south entrance, when the weather allows, where people can adopt books without checking them out.
Although they encourage people who are healthy and have the means to return books through the return slot, those who can’t, shouldn’t worry – the library isn’t charging overdue fines as long as the library is closed.
The Wi-Fi is on and patrons can use the Wi-Fi from outside the library.