60 Bridge St. * 413-625-0306 * Housed in the historic Pratt Memorial Library Building since 1914

Building Access Hours

  • Monday 1 pm–5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 1 pm–5:30 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–2:30 pm

Curbside Pickup Hours

  • Monday 10 am–5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 10 am–5:30 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–3 pm

Building Access Hours

  • Monday 1 pm–5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 1 pm–5:30 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–2:30 pm

Curbside Pickup Hours

  • Monday 10 am–5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 10 am–5:30 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–3 pm

Arms Library Reopening Policy

May 22, 2020
June 1, 2020 Revised

Libraries are busily reimagining how to deliver our services. Many of the services and programs available at libraries include close human contact and frequent and widespread transfer of materials; in addition, libraries are very popular gathering places. With this in mind the following document will serve as the Arms Library’s guide to reopening to the public. Our goal is to safely provide excellent service, and keep our community connected, informed, entertained, and safe.

The Director, Board of Trustees and local library Directors will be constantly re-evaluating the proposed phases and processes and determining phase dates, based on current statistics, local and state trends of disease spread, recommendations from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and other reliable sources, in conjunction with state directives.

Factors that Determine Reopening in Phases

Following Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan, and response from the Chair of Shelburne’s Board of Health, the library is self-certifying and may reopen, initially to provide curbside service.

Safety precautions will include staff training in safety protocols, social distancing, plexi-guards, proper sanitizing of hands and materials, and hourly sanitizing of heavily-trafficked areas. We are using as criteria information from the following:

  • Shelburne Board of Health
  • Shelburne Town Emergency Task Force
  • Governor’s Orders
  • Health indicators in the local community and/or surrounding communities
  • Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners recommendations
  • County-wide and local library directors’ weekly discussions

There will be a phased reopening strategy

Reopening will take place in stages. At this time there are no dates associated with individual phases.

Signage and posting on Facebook and our website will keep the public informed.

If deemed necessary, the library may return to a previous phase.

Phase 1: Ongoing during closure

  1. Arms Library is one of the information resources for the Shelburne Emergency COVID-19 Task Force, working with communications/PR and volunteers.
  2. The Arms is readying public and staff areas for safety and distancing, including:
    • Gathering plexi barriers, disposable masks, gloves, cleaning aerosols, and wipes.
    • Each sanitizing product has a different wipe-down time, needing to dry between uses; these range from 1 minute to 4 minutes. The product labels specify times.
    • Before reopening, the library will be cleaned by the Town’s professional cleaning service.
  3. Before reopening, the director will send a draft of the reopening plan to staff and discuss with them their comfort levels and the reopening plan, as well as strategies.
  4. The director provides training for employees regarding:
    • Social distancing and hygiene protocols.
  5. We are providing
    • Limited curbside service for materials and mask distribution.
    • Virtual and over-the-phone reference.
    • Issuing library cards remotely
    • Virtual programming
    • Masks and Task Force InformationEstablish a plan for employees getting ill from COVID-19 at work and a return-to-work plan.
    • Continue to provide Wi-Fi service in the parking lot.
  6. Continue to make available the bookdrop for book and other material returns. That is the only place we will accept returns.

Phase 2: Begin May 27th Curbside Service

  1. Phase dates are dependent on public health figures and the rate of spread of the virus.
  2. Staff will continue to take shifts in the library. Masks and social distancing will be required; gloves are available for staff if requested.
  3. The director will have one staff member on duty for curbside service. Initially this person will be the director.
  4. For curbside service, patrons will call into the library and staff will ascertain that the material is in the library. Staff will pull the material, get the patron name and/or card number, and make an appointment that day for the patron to pick up their material. Staff will check the material out electronically to the patron before they pick up at the front door. Materials will be wiped down, and the patron advised to let the materials quarantine for 72 hours. At-the-door social distancing will be maintained, and masks will be worn by staff.
  5. Any item in the Arms Library may be requested by calling ahead to be certain we have the item and to decrease contact time between staff and patrons.
  6. Old interlibrary loan books are still on the shelf and may be picked up at this time. Phone calls will be made to these people. We have no timeline from the interlibrary loan delivery services.
  7. A quarantine area for books will be maintained at the front right of the library, separated off from the public. Materials will be quarantined for a week, then sanitized before staff handling.
  8. The Director’s work on the Task Force continues.
  9. Home deliveries will be made in the Shelburne Falls area.
  10. Photocopies will be made and delivered outside the front door.
  11. We will issue library cards remotely.
  12. We will offer virtual and over-the-phone reference.
  13. We will continue virtual programming.
  14. Wi-Fi service in the parking lot will continue.

Phase 3: Reopening doors to limited number of patrons with limited building and stacks access

  1. Phase dates are dependent on public health figures and the rate of spread of the virus.
  2. The library will be staffed by two people. One will be at the front desk and the second will be at the back desk. Each will have her own telephone.
  3. Hours will be reduced to Mondays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  4. Only three people will be allowed in the library at a time. One in the reading room, two in the foyer.
  5. Stacks will continue to be closed. The computer catalogue will be available, and staff will be available as well to look up what is available in the Arms collection. Staff will retrieve any material from the stacks.
  6. When Interlibrary Loan services continue people will be able to pick up their new orders.
  7. Special hours will be held for vulnerable populations.
  8. The director’s work on the Task Force continues as needed.
  9. Masks will be worn by staff.
  10. Gloves are available if requested.
  11. Staff will be consulted to determine their levels of comfort being in the building with other people. If staff is not willing to come in, the Board and the Director will need to determine if we should continue paying them.
  12. Employees who are displaying COVID-19-like symptoms do not report to work.
  13. Patrons may only enter if they have a mask. We have purchased 200 disposable masks to hand out to people and for staff to use if they wish. If a person does do not wear a mask they will not gain entry. Again, a mask will be provided to the person. The need to wear masks while inside a building is supported by the Governor and the Town’s Board of Health.
  14. “X”s six-feet apart will be duct-taped to the floor showing spacing for patrons.
  15. Proper social distancing when in the library and on the front steps will be maintained.
  16. Patrons will self-check out books, using the scanner wands located in front of the sneeze guards. Staff will be there to assist.
  17. Materials will be sanitized before being handed to the patrons.
  18. Check out will only occur at the front desk where the plexi-guards are located.
  19. Between patron interactions, the front desk will be sanitized. We will wait 1-4 minutes between transactions to allow for the sanitizer to dry.
  20. Visits will be of a limited time, no more than fifteen minutes. Patrons will not linger to visit and socialize within the library.
  21. The library will be open to the public limited hours; during closed hours staff will shelve materials and clean. Open hours will be: Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  22. Materials will be sanitized prior to going out the door.
  23. The lower level door will be locked.
  24. The Children’s Room will be closed. Staff will retrieve books for patrons.
  25. The bookdrop will continue to be available for book returns. That is the only place we will accept returns.
  26. At this point we will not be having volunteers work in the library..
  27. Restroom is open only to staff, with proper sanitizing before and after use.
  28. The bookdrop will continue to be available for book returns. That is the only place we will accept returns.
  29. Computers may be used by appointment only, and for thirty minutes at a time. Computer areas will be cleaned after each use. Masks must be worn.
  30. The lower level meeting room will not be available for meetings at this time, The main floor reading room will be available for Trustee and Friends of the Library meetings, if either group wishes to meet in person.
  31. Virtual programming will continue, with possible outdoor programs.

Phase 4: The library expands operations to accommodate “the new normal” of full services.

  1. Phase 4 is dependent on public health figures and the rate of spread of COVID-19.
  2. The library will resume regular hours.
  3. Staffing will return to normal.
  4. The director’s work on the Task Force continues as needed.
  5. Staff will continue to make use of the plexi-guards and wear masks.
  6. Sanitizing will continue.
  7. Social distancing will continue.
  8. The library stacks will be open.
  9. The back door will be unlocked. I will have signage and disposable masks located in a prominent place at the downstairs entry and will hourly check out the downstairs for compliance; as I hear people come in I will go downstairs. (I’m not putting a volunteer in charge of “policing” mask use.)
  10. Children’s Room will be open to one family at a time and will be sanitized after each use.
  11. Volunteers will be asked if they would like to return. Masks will be worn. Gloves are available if requested. Only one volunteer may be in the building at a time.
  12. The meeting room will be available for small meetings.
  13. Masks will be requested, but not required.
  14. If patrons do not wish to come into the building we will continue to practice curbside service.
  15. Programming will remain virtual through the end of August.