Lisa Downing, Library DirectorAs we come upon the end of our second month of the building being closed, I want to let you all know how much our staff miss seeing you and serving you in the building. I know this has been a very difficult time for many of us and we look forward to when we can safely resume in person services. In the meantime, I wanted to provide an update.

We are developing a plan for a phased resumption of services with our top priority being safety for our staff and patrons. We will begin in accordance with state and local safety guidelines as well as expert recommendations on safe library practices by state and federal library agencies including the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Forbes Library’s phased resumption of services will follow these steps:
First, staff only will come back to the building. They will work in staggered shifts following safety protocols, including wearing masks and gloves, and remain socially distant. Tasks will include handling returns that have sat in quarantine for at least three days.
At some point, curbside pickup will begin. Patrons will be able to request materials from the library’s collection online or by phone, then staff will check out the items, and bring them outside to patrons. We are still working out the details but expect that inter-library loan will not be immediately available.
When it is safe, patrons will return to the inside of the buildings. We envision limiting the number of patrons in the buildings at once; having plexiglass shields at the service desks; not allowing computers or in-person programming right away; and frequent disinfection of surfaces and bathrooms. We are also considering having separate open hours for vulnerable populations.
Eventually, the use of computers and meeting rooms will be allowed, as well as in-person public programming.
At this time, we are unsure what the timeline for this phased approach will be. We are eager to provide services but must proceed with an abundance of caution so that we can continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

There are many digital resources we can provide along with fun and engaging virtual programming and real time technical support. Our weekly newsletters will continue to highlight these and other library services. We also welcome your requests and suggestions.

We appreciate your ongoing support and patience and we look forward to seeing you in person soon!

Lisa Downing, Director