APL Closed Until Further Notice Due to Coronavirus: Details Here
CONTACT APL STAFF: MONDAY-FRIDAY 10 AM-6 PM
(518) 217-5601 (518) 217-8554 (518) 217-8323 firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to Virtual Programs Created by APL Staff (Updated 4/3/20)
Listen to APL’s Albany Made Podcast for Audio Programs (Updated 3/27/20)
Links to Entertainment, Cultural & Education Resources (Updated 4/2/20)
Links to Coronavirus Resources (Updated 4/1/20)
NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAMS ONLINE
Update: April 3, 2020
We’ve got several new storytime videos by our staff and the second episode of Browser for your watching pleasere.
Browser Episode #2: “Garden Party” — This week on Browser, Luke shows you how to request a new book for the collections, explores gardening books for adults and children, and recommends a book he wishes he could read for the first time, again. (7 minutes)
Mr. Anthony reads “Bark George” and “Max at Night” (11 minutes)
MORE LINKS TO ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS & TEENS ADDED
Update: April 2, 2020
We’re always looking for fun online activities for kids and teens to do at home. Here are a few new ones we found:
Harry Potter at Home — Craft videos, articles, puzzles, games, and more
NASA at Home — Space and STEM activities for grades K-8
MiSci on the Move — Educational videos featuring MiSci educators
NEW APL-CREATED VIDEOS AVAILABLE
Update: April 1, 2020
We’ve got a couple more virtual storytimes for you and your little ones, plus a how-to guide on completing the U.S. Census.
MORE VIRTUAL PROGRAMS ARE ONLINE NOW
Update: March 28, 2020 at 11:25 am
We’ve added two more videos to our YouTube channel:
NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAMS FOR OUR PATRONS
Update: March 26, 2020 at 5:15 pm
We’re starting to post virtual programs to help keep you entertained and informed during our coronavirus closure. Staff are working on virtual storytimes, book recommendations, how-to videos, podcasts, activities, and more.
We hope you enjoy these virtual programs. Stay tuned as there are more to come!
LIBRARY CLOSURE EXTENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Update: March 26, 2020 at 12:50 pm
All Albany Public Library (APL) locations will remain closed until further notice due to the continuing COVID-19 outbreak. APL will continue to provide virtual services, materials, and programming through its website and social media channels during the closure.
The library’s Board of Trustees agreed to the continued closure at a meeting on March 24. The board will reassess at the April 14 meeting, which will be conducted virtually and livestreamed on YouTube (@AlbanyNYLibrary).
The board also reviewed a COVID-19 Continuation of Service Plan developed by Executive Director Scott C. Jarzombek and the library’s leadership team. The plan employs a phased approach to reopening the library, taking into consideration guidelines provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, New York State, and Albany County.
At this point, there is no date set for the reopening plan to begin. There are six phases to the plan, and each of them are expected to last up to about four weeks. The phases are: (1) staff return to buildings for cleaning and preparation; (2) select locations open with fewer hours, limited services, and no programs or meetings; (3) all locations open with limited hours and services, and no programs or meetings; (4) all locations open with regular hours with limits on some services and no programs or meetings; (5) limited programming and meetings are allowed with limits on how many are held in each building and on attendance; and (6) full operation with heightened cleaning and distancing protocols remaining in place.
“The intent of this plan is to lay out a patient and careful approach to resuming library operations, so that we can provide needed services to the public while modeling the level of responsibility everyone in the community should be following,” Jarzombek said.
During the closure, APL is providing the following virtual services, materials, and programs:
Contact APL Staff Monday-Friday at 10 am-6 pm
Call any of these phone numbers: (518) 217-5601 (518) 217-8554 (518) 217-8323
Or send an email to email@example.com
Download Digital Material (eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eVideos)
Download these items through the APL website and corresponding apps for personal tablets, smartphones, and other devices. Look for the free Libby, OverDrive, and Flipster apps on any device app store.
Explore Cultural, Educational, and Entertainment Venues Online
Enjoy art, history, music, architecture, heritage, zoos, museums and more from the comfort of home. Check out this list of links.
Access Databases for Research and Education
Use databases including Ancestry, Britannica Academic, Health Reference Center Academic, and New York State Newspapers via the APL website.
Learn Coronavirus Facts and Information
This list contains important links and phone numbers for Albany residents.
APL librarians have started posting virtual storytimes and activities for children, along with book recommendations and other short video programs for adults. Keep an eye out for these videos on the library’s YouTube channel (@AlbanyNYLibrary).
WiFi in Buildings and Parks
WiFi at the library branches and two city parks (near Lincoln Park pool and Washington Park playhouse and skate park) remain turned on, so you can access them if you are in close proximity to those locations.
Library Items and Library Cards
- Patrons should hold onto all of the library materials they already have and continue to enjoy them at home. During the closure, the book drops at the branches are locked. There will be no late fines for any of these items, and patrons should return them when the library reopens.
- Expiration dates for library cards are being extended. Patrons need their library card numbers to access some digital services.
- If someone doesn’t have a library card, and lives in Albany or Rensselaer counties, they can get a temporary card online here.
Get the Latest Updates on How the Closure is Impacting Library Services
LIBRARY BOARD TO HOLD VIRTUAL MEETING ON MARCH 24 TO DISCUSS CLOSURE
Update: March 19 at 4:00 pm
The library’s Board of Trustees is holding a special virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, at 6:00 pm to discuss how the coronavirus closure is impacting library services and staff.
PHONE NUMBERS FOR LIBRARY ASSISTANCE
Update: March 17 at 11:58 am
If you have questions for us during the closure, you can call any of these numbers and get answers.
These numbers will be staffed Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm.
Call us if you are:
+ Having issues with your library card
+ Need help with your account
+ Looking for tips on how to download eBooks
+ Want assistance using the databases
+ Have reference and reference questions
CONTACTING THE LIBRARY & USING DIGITAL SERVICES DURING CLOSURE
Update: March 16 at 10:55 am
Our staff is ready to answer your library, circulation, and reference questions during the closure.
Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm, you can email:
We will also have three phone numbers you can call with questions. That process is being tested today. We’ll share the phone numbers with you as soon as they are ready to accept calls.
Here are the digital services you can access even while our buildings are closed:
+ WiFi at the library branches and three city parks (Lincoln Park pool, Washington Park playhouse and skate park, Bleecker-Swinburne Park stadium) remain turned on, so you can access them if you are in close proximity to the buildings.
+ Get digital materials — including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, eVideos — through our website and corresponding apps for their personal devices. Look for the free Libby, OverDrive, and Flipster apps on your device app store.
+ Access educational and informative databases on our website.
About your library items and APL card:
+ Hold onto all of the library materials you already have. Enjoy them at home and bring them back when we reopen. During the closure, the book drops at our locations are locked and you will be unable to return items in them. There will be no late fines for any of these items.
+ Expiration dates for library cards are being extended. You need your library card number to access some digital services.
If you have questions or trouble accessing online resources, please email us at:
This email is staffed Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm.
SERVICES AVAILABLE DURING APL CLOSURE MARCH 14-29
Update: March 14 at 11:25 am
A message from APL Executive Director Scott C. Jarzombek:
“The decision to close was a difficult one that we didn’t make lightly. We understand that not having access to the library buildings and our many resources causes a hardship for people in Albany. But after weeks of tough conversations and planning by library leaders, administration, and trustees, we felt closing was in the best interest of our staff and the public. The library needs to do its part in helping slow the spread of coronavirus.”
During the closure — March 14 through March 29 — APL patrons will be able to:
- Get digital materials — including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, eVideos — through our website and corresponding apps for their personal devices. Look for the Libby, OverDrive, and Flipster apps on your device app store; all of them are free. We are purchasing more eBooks and eAudiobooks that can be borrowed exclusively by APL cardholders.
- Access educational and informative databases on our website.
- Get questions answered by staff via phone Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. The phone numbers will be published on Monday, March 16.
- Submit questions to the firstname.lastname@example.org email and get answers Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.
- Keep their library materials at home without late fines. No need to return items during the building closure as our return drop boxes are also closed.
- Don’t worry about their library cards expiring as we have extended the expiration dates. All APL cardholders will be able to continue to download digital material.
ALL APL LOCATIONS CLOSED MARCH 14-MARCH 29
Update: March 13 at 5:45 pm
Albany Public Library will be closed starting Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 29, due to the coronavirus outbreak. All seven APL branches plan to reopen on Monday, March 30.
The library is closing as called for in the Coronavirus Closure Plan approved by the APL Board of Trustees on March 10. That plan indicated that the library would close once the City School District of Albany closed, or upon direction from Albany County or New York State. The Albany school district announced its closure this afternoon.
APL is implementing the Coronavirus Continuation of Service Plan, starting March 14 and running through the end of the closure. This plan calls for:
- Phone calls and emails will be monitored by staff Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm
- eMaterials – including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and eVideos – can be downloaded from the library website and corresponding apps (Libby, OverDrive, Flipster) for free
- Databases – including Britannica Academic, Health Reference Center Academic, and New York State Newspapers – are available on the APL website
- No late fines for materials — patrons can keep the items they have borrowed and will not incur any late fines during the closure
All library locations will be fully cleaned during this closure.
During the closure, the library’s emergency response group will monitor the situation, consult with government and health officials, and communicate any updates via the APL website, email newsletters, and social media @AlbanyNYLibrary.
MUSEUM PASSES ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Update: March 13 at 10 am
The library is suspending the borrowing of museum passes until further notice.
As a reminder, these other service changes are also in effect:
+ Requests for material are limited to libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System (Albany and Rensselaer counties)
+ All returns must be done via the book drops
+ Public cannot use library phones
+ Patrons are asked to wash their hands before and after using library equipment
+ Toys have been removed from branches
+ All programs and meetings are canceled until further notice
APL CANCELING ALL PROGRAMS & MEETINGS AS OF NOON ON THURSDAY, MARCH 12
Update: March 12 at 10:50 am
Due to this morning’s announcement of two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Albany County, the library is canceling all programs and outreach activities. We are also canceling public meetings scheduled in our branches and closing study rooms. These changes go into effect at 12 pm today (Thursday, March 12) and continue until further notice.
All other library services will continue. Reducing the space used by the public will allow us to concentrate on specific areas for cleaning.
Today’s action is a precautionary measure. We are as disappointed as you are to cancel programs and meetings at our branches. Our staff works hard to plan these programs and we know you enjoy participating in them.
Our staff is dedicated to serving the public. At this point in time, the library’s main concern is keeping our patrons and staff safe.
We will continue to provide coronavirus updates on our website, email, and social media channels.
CLOSURE PLAN & CONTINUATION OF SERVICE PLAN ARE READY
Update: March 11
We will only implement the following plans if deemed necessary.
The COVID-19 Closure Plan and Continuation of Service Plan were devised by APL’s executive team based on the best available information about the virus, its spread, and prevention measures; consultation with local municipal and health officials; and outbreak prevention and containment best practices employed by large public institutions.
The coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly changing situation. Staff and the public will be informed regularly with updates on how the library is handling the situation and when any parts of the closure or continuation of service plan are implemented.
< Closure Plan >
The library’s executive team has determined the following Closure Plan is the best course of action in the event all branches must close due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This plan was approved unanimously by the APL Board of Trustees on March 10, 2020. All decisions will be made by the Executive Director with the guidance of the Executive Committee of the board.
Scenario A1 — Close Specific Branches
Individual branches may be closed based on staffing levels. Staff will be deployed to other branches.
Scenario A — Cancel Programs
All programs, meetings, and study rooms may be suspended if the outbreak worsens.
Scenario B — Close All Locations
This scenario will be enacted once the City School District of Albany closes, or upon direction from Albany County or New York State. Once the decision is made to close all library locations, it will be implemented immediately. The decision to reopen will be made by the library’s Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
< Continuation of Service Plan >
The Continuation of Service Plan will be put into place in the event the entire library district needs to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The library will continue to offer some services to patrons if closed for a period of time due to coronavirus.
Staffing to Implement Services During a Closure
Essential staff has been identified and will be in regular contact during the closure to ensure services are working as intended. This team will meet regularly and a determination will be made whether a longer closure is required.
We will remind the public that our online services will be available, even if the library is closed. In the event of a closure, book drops will be locked and patrons will be unable to return items. Late fees will be waived.
Resuming Regular Services
Regular library services will resume once the branches are reopened. The decision to reopen will be made by the Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
CLEANING PROTOCOLS ARE INCREASED
Update: March 9
We are constantly monitoring the current status of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Capital Region.
As of today, we are adding these measures to our protocols:
+ Only serve pre-packaged food
+ Toys removed from public spaces for cleaning
+ All surfaces wiped down with disinfectant before and after programs
+ Staff wash hands before/after all programs and desk shifts, and before/after using library equipment
LIBRARY PREPARES FOR CORONAVIRUS
Update: March 5
The outbreak of the COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), raises many concerns for Albany Public Library. We see hundreds of people every day and feel responsible for their well being. Simultaneously we are concerned about our health and the health of our coworkers.
APL has more than 70,000 visitors each month across seven locations. More than 50,000 items cross our desks and more than 6,000 people attend programs every month. That translates into a lot of personal interactions by many, many people, every day we are open.
Libraries are also “second responders,” acting as resiliency centers during weather emergencies and filling gaps in services and resources, all while serving as a trusted source for factual information.
All of these interactions put the public, and our staff, in close contact all day long. As such, APL administration is keeping a close eye on recent developments regarding Coronavirus. We are exploring what we as an organization need to do so we can continue serving the public while keeping everyone healthy and safe.
Below are some guidelines for staff and patrons, as well as some resources for further information.
What We’re Doing at the Library
+ All returns must be done via the book drop. All material received in the book drop should be handled wearing gloves, and items should be wiped down with Lysol wipes.
+ Returned devices should also be wiped down upon return.
+ At the end of each desk shift, staff members should wipe down hard surfaces.
+ Staff members are directed to wash their hands at the end of a shift or when going on break.
+ Facilities staff have been directed to wipe down all hard surfaces on a regular basis, including surfaces in meeting and study rooms.
+ When possible, library cards will be scanned in the patron’s hands.
+ Members of the public and staff are encouraged to stay home if they are sick.
+ Limit physical touching.
+ Do not handle food or snacks for others.
+ Clean hard surfaces before and after programs.
What Can You Do as a Patron
+ If you have a fever and are sick, stay home.
+ If you are using our meeting room space, make sure that all those who attend are well.
+ Cough into a tissue or into the bend of your arm.
+ Wash your hands regularly after using public computers and borrowing material.
+ Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
+ Spread the word, and remind friends and family that the library is a trusted source for accurate information.
As of March 5 at 2 pm, there were 22 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in New York State, none of which are in the Albany area.
We will be following the state, city, and school district’s lead. If this means canceling programs, limiting hours, or closing, we are prepared to do that. These decisions are all made at a board and administrative level, and we are having ongoing discussions about it.
The library has formed a committee to create a “continuation of service plan” that will allow us to maintain some library service even if our buildings are closed. We will work diligently to have that plan ready in the next week.
World Health Organization
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
New York State Health Department
Albany County Department of Health
US National Library of Medicine
NPR Article: What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus
New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline: (888) 364-3065