Library opens for browsing, computer use by appointment
After months of being closed to the public, the Wareham Free Library’s main location is now open to visitors by appointment for limited browsing and computer use.
“People who wanted to come in to look at the items that we have on the shelf can do so,” said library director George Ripley. “But naturally we are taking every precaution we can to protect the safety and the health of not only the library patrons and the residents of Wareham, but also the staff as well.”
Ripley said visitors are required to wear face masks and maintain 6 feet of social distance while inside the library. Hand sanitizer is widely available, dividers have been installed and frequently-touched surfaces will be cleaned often, he said.
“The other thing is, we’re limiting the number of people who can come into the library at a time to 25 people, to maintain the safe amount of distance and space within the library itself,” Ripley said.
Four computers are available to the public by appointment, Ripley said. The library can now provide fax services, photocopying and scanning once again as well.
The curbside pickup service that has been offered during much of the pandemic remains available, Ripley said.
Library users can simply put a hold on a book — whether it’s at the Wareham library or another library in the state — and wait to be notified when the book is ready to be picked up. When the book is available, a patron can call to arrange a time to have the book brought out to his or her car in the parking lot.
For months, curbside pickup has only been available at the main library location on Marion Road. But starting on Tuesday, Dec. 1, the Spinney Memorial Branch on Onset Avenue will begin offering limited curbside pickup from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
“We’re going to try it as an experiment to see how it goes,” Ripley said.
People can also take part in the library’s book grab-bag program.
“We’ll talk to them a little bit — figure out what kind of books they like, what are some of their favorite genres, favorite authors, what books don’t they like, and then get five or six together for them to pick up,” Ripley said. “It’s kind of like a little bit of a surprise, cause you don’t know what’s in there. It might be something you’ve read before. It might be something you’ve never ever even heard of before.”
Ripley said the library has increased its digital collection as well. The collection includes books, audiobooks, music, TV shows, movies, graphic novels and comic books that can be accessed from home at any time. Library users can access digital resources using either the Libby/Overdrive platform or the Hoopla platform.
Digital library programming is also available online, so people should keep an eye on the library’s website and social media Ripley added.
Ripley said the plan is to keep providing the current level of library service as long as it can be done safely.
The library is closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26.