Preparing to Add New Services & Open Another Branch
Albany Public Library is entering a new stage of pandemic operations this week.
Staff have returned to the buildings full time to prepare for the addition of new services, including browsing the collection, and the opening of the Washington Ave. Branch for curbside pickup.
“We are pleased to be opening for additional services at more Albany Public Library branch locations over the next few weeks. I think our patrons will be most excited to hear that we are adding curbside pickup at the Washington Ave. Branch and allowing browsing of the physical collections at five branches,” said APL Executive Director Scott C. Jarzombek.
“The library is following a Continuation of Service Plan and gauging organizational capacity as we slowly roll out new services and locations in this phase of operations. We are eager to welcome more patrons into the branches and to expand services to the community, while keeping the safety of everyone in mind,” he added.
The library is officially moving into Phase 2B of the Continuation of Service Plan, which allows for opening of select locations with a strict headcount. APL moves into a new phase when the 7-day rolling average of positive COVID-19 tests in Albany County stays below a certain percentage for 14 consecutive days. For Phase 2B, that is below 3.0%. Organizational capacity is also a key consideration when expanding operations.
Here is a rundown of the service and location additions coming in the next several weeks:
- Browsing of the physical collections inside the branches | Each building will set up browsing areas for select parts of the collection, including new releases, books, DVDs, youth materials, and more. The items will be checked out inside at the circulation desks. Browsing will be introduced at five branches: Arbor Hill/West Hill, Bach, Delaware, Howe, and Pine Hills.
- Opening of the Washington Ave. Branch for curbside pickup | Patrons will be able to request items and make appointments to pick them up curbside at the Washington Ave. location. This is the sixth APL branch to provide curbside pickup. The building will remain closed to the public. Curbside pickup will also continue at Arbor Hill/West Hill, Bach, Delaware, Howe, and Pine Hills.
- Opening of the Bach and Delaware branches for in-building appointments | Library users will be able to make appointments to copy, print, scan, and fax documents or to purchase CDTA Navigator passes inside the Bach and Delaware branches. This service will also continue at the Arbor Hill/West Hill, Howe, and Pine Hills branches.
- Expanding of appointment services based on building capacity | In-building services—computer use, copy/print/scan/fax documents, purchase CDTA Navigator passes, get reference assistance from a librarian, and limited browsing—will be based on the capacity of each building due to social distancing guidelines. Appointments will still be required for most services. This will start at the Arbor Hill/West Hill, Howe, and Pine Hills branches.
“We are slowly expanding services based on building and organizational capacity while following COVID safety guidelines. These new services and service points will be extended to more branches in the very near future, provided the amount of virus in the county continues to decline,” Jarzombek said.
Details about each of these service expansions will be shared with the public via the library’s website and social media channels @AlbanyNYLibrary as they begin.