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A Message From C.H. Booth Library Director



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To the Editor:

Dear Patrons and Friends,

As the one-year anniversary of the pandemic’s effect on our region approaches, there are many positive things happening which will help move us back toward a more normal life.

It is important to continue taking care to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Lamont has included libraries among the various businesses and services which will no longer be subject to capacity limitations, effective Friday, March 19, 2021. However, the C.H. Booth Library will continue to operate under its phased approach of safe opening as described in its Plan for Reopening, available at chboothlibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/reopening-plan-ch-booth-library.pdf.

The C.H. Booth Library is currently in Stage 7, which includes:

*In-person browsing and borrowing for all ages with masking and distancing restrictions;

*Limited in-person children’s programs;

*Online and DIY programs that include Make’n’Take and Grab’n’Go kits for all ages;

*Self-service scanning, faxing, and photocopying;

*Reference services by phone, chat, or in person;

*Limited seating and workspace;

*Limited public computers;

*Contact-free borrowing via curbside/trunk service;

*Free home delivery via Words on Wheels.

We regret that we cannot fulfill two of our traditional roles at this time: serving as a facility for in-person meetings and as a provider of large in-person programs. It is part of the mission of the library to provide a comfortable meeting place for the public and free educational programs that stimulate lifelong learning. Believe me when I write that the library deeply misses being able to provide these services and looks forward to the time when we can safely do so.

As of this moment, we are open to the public at 88% of normal service hours. I realize that residents may not think of the library every day, but I encourage you to take advantage of all that it has to offer. There are books, films, books on CD, and a truly massive amount of digital online content including eBooks, music, audiobooks, comics, tv shows, and films. The library offers COVID-safe programming options as well as a robust slate of virtual programming for all ages. It is a fantastic return on a very small investment — about $48 per year per person.

For more information about open hours and available services, call the library. Departments include Children’s 203-426-3851 and Circulation 203-426-4533.

The library will continue to require face coverings and social distancing. It is our goal to provide access to library services in an environment that is healthy and safe for our community and for our workers. Library staff have been happy to serve the public within safety protocols and guidelines that have been carefully crafted for their protection.

The management continually monitors the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases in Newtown and the region and also local vaccination news. We will move toward expanding library hours and services as safely as we can in the coming months.

We appreciate your patronage and your patience.

Be well, be safe, and be smart!

Douglas Lord

Director, C.H. Booth Library

25 Main Street, Newtown March 12, 2021

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