When Will the Library Reopen?
Many of our patrons are wondering if the Silas Bronson Library will reopen on May 20. While we would very much like to reopen our buildings to the public, the health and safety of our patrons and our employees is our top priority. At this time, we do not believe it would be safe to offer any in-person library services until a later date.
Some of our patrons have also asked if we could offer curbside service, since libraries in smaller towns have started to do so. It’s important to note that the libraries offering curbside service are in towns with very few confirmed cases of COVID-19. While those towns have maybe 35 or 44 total confirmed cases, Waterbury has more than 1,477 confirmed cases and 128 deaths. It should also be noted that we have significantly more patrons than the libraries in small towns have, which means we would need to have more employees in the building to offer the service than they do. While we could ensure that curbside service would be safe for our patrons, we can’t ensure that it would be safe for our employees at this time.
We will continue to offer library services online and over the phone until it is safe to allow the public back into our buildings. We have added more copies of popular ebooks to our digital collections, we are launching new programs using Zoom and Kast, and our staff are available to answer your questions via email or phone. The library’s wifi remains active and can be used if you are outside the building on our patio or front plaza.
When we do reopen, you will find a number of changes to our buildings and to our operations. We are currently working on installing a variety of safety measures in both of our buildings, including plexiglas shields at the service desks and touchless hand sanitizer dispensers. Some of the public computers are being repositioned to increase the distance between them, and we are looking into ways to make it easier to disinfect the computers between users. When weather permits, doors will be propped open to increase ventilation. There will also be restrictions on the number of people in the building at one time.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. If you would like to be notified when we have more information about our reopening, please let us know. When we have a reopening date, we will send a press release to local news outlets and post the information to our website and to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.