On the heels of the State’s move into Phase III last week, Darien Library announced new weekend hours and an expansion of their “Express Services” for quick browsing, holds pick-up, and research and computer use.
Beginning October 10, the Library will be open on Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m., and starting Monday, October 12, the second floor Reference and Help Desk services will be available to visitors for up to four-hour sessions per person per day. Families may also continue to book appointments to visit the Children’s Library. Adults, children, and teens also continue to enjoy and participate in a wide variety of virtual programs and events.
“We know that many of our users, especially working parents, are not able to get here during the week, so providing Saturday Service is a major priority for us,” said Library Director Kiera Parrott. “We’re also sensitive to the fact that our recent time limits on the second floor have been challenging for folks doing research and study, which is why we’re pleased to extend those hours and provide just a bit more flexibility for our patrons.”
In addition to the new Saturday hours, the Library remains open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with some COVID-related limitations. Visitors will still be required to wear masks in the building, and food and drink consumption is limited to the outdoor courtyard. Returns will remain limited to weekends only.
“The latest scientific studies show that the virus lives on books, DVDs, and other materials for several days. In order to keep our staff and all of our users safe, we quarantine returned material for at least three days before reshelving,” explained Parrott. “During the weekdays when returns are not coming in, our materials handling system is still in use—we process holds and newly arrived books, which allows us to keep the ‘clean’ books separate from the returns.”
It was back in March when, at the height of the pandemic, the Library closed its doors for the first time in over 100 years. “According to our archives, the last time the Library closed was during a coal shortage in World War I,” said Associate Director Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla. On July 6, the Library reopened with limited services and hours.
“We are following the latest guidance, staying on top of the case rates, and using the best information we have to make thoughtful, safe decisions each day, each week. Our patrons rely on us for everything from homework help to financial information to utilizing our WiFi and computers for work. Though things are certainly different these days, we’re so happy to see patrons coming in our doors. You may not see the smiles, but we are beaming behind our masks.”
For more information about Darien Library’s Express Services, hours, and virtual events, visit darienlibrary.org/reopening.