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APL Enters HIGH Phase of Pandemic Operations

August 25, 2021 | Library News

(Updated 9/14/21) Restrooms are now available upon request by library patrons. We remain in the HIGH phase of operation.

Albany Public Library’s new Continuation of Services Plan begins Wednesday, Aug. 25, with the suspension of some in-person services due to the high community transmission of COVID-19 in Albany County.

Those suspended services are: study rooms, meeting rooms, in-person reference assistance, all indoor and select outdoor programs, indoor seating, and restrooms. There are also capacity restrictions on the number of people who can be in each branch building at the same time. Books and other library materials must be returned via the interior and exterior book drops.

Core in-person services that are continuing without interruption are: pickup and checkout of material; browsing of book, music, movie, reference, and all other collections; computer and internet use; copying, printing, faxing, and scanning documents; and purchasing or replenishing CDTA Navigator bus passes. The library continues to require everyone over the age of two wear a mask when visiting the branches.

The pandemic operations plan was updated in an effort to ensure that patrons can access core services in person during any stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, which was approved by the APL Board of Trustees earlier this month, follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) metrics and guidance regarding community transmission of the virus.

As the amount of community transmission increases, the library will slowly implement phase restrictions on which in-person library services are permitted. And as community transmission decreases, the library will reintroduce those services. Regardless of phase, the core services will remain available to patrons in person at the branch libraries.

The CDC guidance uses two data points: the number of COVID cases per 100,000 residents in a county and the percent positive. It then puts a county into one of four color-coded phases of community transmission: low (blue), moderate (yellow), substantial (orange), and high (red). APL is using those metrics and phases for Albany County to guide its pandemic operations.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is APL's public information officer, and manages the library's communications, public relations, and marketing efforts. No, she isn't a librarian, but feels as if she's among her people here at the library.