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Five Branches Add Services, Including Browsing, on March 8

March 8, 2021 | Library News

Five Albany Public Library branches are adding services starting today, March 8, including browsing the collections.

“We’re now more open and are welcoming an increased number of people into our buildings to use added library services. The biggest change is that patrons are now able to browse select collections at five of our branches. Three locations are allowing more people inside for services by following a headcount model. And two branches are now providing in-building services by appointment,” said APL Executive Director Scott C. Jarzombek. “Today’s additions are all part of our sliding scale of services outlined in the pandemic Continuation of Services Plan. Services are being added based on the amount of the COVID-19 virus in the community, organizational capacity, building headcount limits, and safety guidelines.”

Last week, the library officially moved into Phase 2B of the Continuation of Service Plan. This phase, called 2B, recalled all staff to work inside the buildings and allows for opening of select locations with a strict headcount because the 7-day rolling average of positive COVID-19 tests in Albany County was below 3% for 14 consecutive days. The library’s organizational capacity also plays a role in determining when to enter a phase and what services can be safely provided.

Operating hours at the branches are 12 pm to 5:30 pm. Here are the services now available:

Browsing of the Physical Collections Inside at Arbor Hill/West Hill, Bach, Delaware, Howe, and Pine Hills
Each building has browsing areas for select parts of the collection, including new releases, books, DVDs, youth materials, and more. The items are checked out inside at the circulation desks.

In-Building Services at Bach and Delaware
Library users make appointments to copy, print, scan, and fax documents or to purchase CDTA Navigator passes inside at these two locations. This service is also continuing at the Arbor Hill/West Hill, Howe, and Pine Hills branches.

Expanding of Services Based on Building Capacity at Arbor Hill/West Hill, Howe, and Pine Hills
In-building services—computer use, copy/print/scan/fax documents, purchase CDTA Navigator passes, get reference assistance from a librarian, and limited browsing—are based on the capacity of each building due to social distancing guidelines. Appointments are still strongly suggested for most services.

Services vary across library branches, here are some important points to remember for all of them:
• Appointments are strongly encouraged in order to ensure service at a patrons’ preferred time.
• Walkups are welcome, but patrons may have to wait to enter the building until there is enough space for them to be socially distanced.
• Some areas of the building will be closed to the public, including restrooms.
• Patrons’ time in the building is limited due to safety and capacity guidelines.
• Visitors should call the branch the want to visit for more details about that particular location.

Here’s how to contact the branches adding services on March 8:
• Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch | 148 Henry Johnson Blvd. | (518) 694-0596 x221
• Bach Branch | 455 New Scotland Ave. | (518) 482-2154 x221
• Delaware Branch | 331 Delaware Ave. | (518) 463-0254 x221
• Howe Branch | 105 Schuyler St. | (518) 472-9485 x221
• Pine Hills Branch | 517 Western Ave. | (518) 482-7911 x221

The North Albany and Washington Ave. branches remain closed at this time. APL is planning to open Washington Ave. for curbside pickup in the very near future.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is manager of APL's Communication and Creative Services Department, which provides content and information for the library's website, social media, publications, videos, podcasts, and other outlets. Stephanie also manages APL's public relations and marketing efforts.