Goshen Public Library and Historical Society outline opening strategy

| 26 May 2020 | 02:32

    Libraries are essentially about community; this devastating situation has temporarily forced us all to find ways to remain together while being asked to stay apart for the general welfare.

    As you might imagine, we are just as eager to get back to some semblance of normal as I’m sure all of you are. We hope that we can manage to achieve this as quickly as is safely possible, and we trust that our Goshen Library family will come together in a spirit of cooperation to help us!

    The good news, as you may have already heard, is that libraries throughout the mid-Hudson region have been given the green light to begin opening back up to the public. To achieve this in an orderly way, and one that is safest for the staff and future visitors of the building, we are working in tandem with neighboring libraries under the direction and guidance of the Ramapo-Catskill Library System who, in turn, are taking their cues from the CDC, the governor, as well as state and local health authorities. The staff is already on site preparing the building to welcome back our library users, with an eye to ensuring that the necessary tools (sneeze guards, social distancing signs and floor decals, etc.) are in place to provide the safest possible experience for staff and patrons alike.

    One of the biggest draws in our new building has been our study rooms. Knowing that there are people missing the quiet and convenience of those rooms, we wanted to offer the next best thing, so beginning with stage one and until we are able to again allow the use of the rooms, we have extended wi-fi coverage out into the parking areas of the library.

    Throughout this stage we will also continue to offer an expanded assortment of remote services, as well as remote reference guidance. If you haven’t already, please visit goshenpubliclibrary.org to see the array of resources available to you from the comfort of your own home.

    You can also check out our Facebook and YouTube pages for virtual story times and crafts. Once building safety preparations have been completed, we will move to the second stage. At this point, we will be accepting (via book drop) returns of loaned materials, placing them in a seven day “quarantine” for return to their home institutions. (This seven day period was adopted by RCLS after reviewing the latest information available; this period is subject to change pending new information from the relevant agencies.)

    In the third stage we will have books and other materials back in the hands of our patrons. Goshen cardholders will be able to place holds on Goshen materials - either by phone or through the catalog - for curbside pick up.

    We will also restart homebound delivery.

    Stage four will see the library opening its doors to a limited number of patrons at a given time. We will resume computer use by appointment, along with the essential services (faxing, photocopying and printing) also by appointment only.

    We will finalize our curbside pickup plan.The stacks will remain “closed” to the public; patrons may continue browsing our collection remotely through the online catalog.

    At this point, holds may be placed online, by phone or in person. Materials put on hold will be obtained and delivered by staff as in stage three. Interlibrary loaning of materials will be expanded to include neighboring libraries.

    Stage five will see interlibrary loaning of materials expand further across the region, and patrons in controlled numbers will be invited to browse the stacks again, while of course adhering to the code of conduct’s safety measures to ensure the health of all.

    The final stage, stage six, that RCLS is calling the “new normal” will see in-house programming resume under any safety guidelines issued from the state and local health departments.Timing between stages will be determined by our ability to guarantee the health and well-being of our staff and visitors as conditions both in the building and in the community evolve.

    We will keep you apprised of the calendar dates of these successive stages through our website, email and social media platforms.

    Each successive stage has been designed to add on a new level of service as we safely navigate our way back to pre-Covid service levels.

    We hope you will join us in helping to achieve this objective, and celebrate each milestone forward as we continue to serve our community while working to keep its members both physically healthy and mentally strong!


    The administration of the Goshen Public Library And Historical Society