Memorial Hall Library has re-opened to patrons — no reservations required — after having closed in March as part of forced shutdowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"So far so good," said library Director Barbara McNamara.

On Oct. 4, the library stopped requiring reservations, but seating remains limited and no groups are allowed to gather for programs or otherwise.  

Previously, since late July, reservations were required for people to come inside the building. Prior to that the library was completely closed as of March 14. 

"We really would like to encourage people to put their mask on before they come to the door and keep it on the whole time," McNamara said. "Most people don't take offense when we ask them to cover their nose and keep it on when they talk with us."

All libary programs are still being conducted remotely and posted virtually. A full schedule can be found at mhl.org, with links to sign up for Zoom programs.

Since opening up to the public, library staff, including custodians, are working to ensure that everything is as clean as possible, McNamara said.

Tables, chairs and other high-touch areas are fully wiped down several times a day, McNamara said. Additionally, every computer is cleaned between use. 

"We are busy cleaning," McNamara said. "We wear our masks."

Recently the facilities department installed WiFi hotspots around the building so people can also access the internet from the back patio and in the parking lot, McNamara said. This is an option for those who need the town's internet but don't want to go inside.

The library is still offering curbside pick-up, which is weather dependent, McNamera said. In November people will be asked to go into the library to pick up their materials, which will be close to the back door. 

"We know people are still uncomfortable coming inside, but we want to be able to continue to provide service to them," McNamara said.

"We welcome patrons to come and browse, check out our materials and use our resources. If anyone needs anything they should ask. We are always accessible and available."

Library hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

More information can be found at mhl.org

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