Library COVID-19 Information
Our Pandemic Operations Plan is available.
Phased Plan and Services
The library is operating on a continually updated phased service plan in order to balance the protection and safety of our community and staff. The current phase of the library will determine the services offered as shown in the chart below.
Current phase: 4
|Reopening Phase||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3||Phase 4||Phase 5||Phase 6||Phase 7||Phase 8|
|Limited Service Hours||Service Hours Limited||Service Hours Limited||Service Hours Limited||Service Hours Limited||Service Hours Limited||Service Hours Limited||Standard Service Hours||Standard Service Hours|
|Telephone, Chat, and Email Reference Service||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Collections Available||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Accepting of Returns||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Overdue Fines Waived||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Public Allowed in Building||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Holds Pick Up||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|In-Library Browsing||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Donations Accepted||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes|
|Friends Book Shop Open||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes|
|Copier and Fax Machines Available||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Public Restrooms Available||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Public Computer Usage||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes|
|Local History / Saratoga Room||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes|
|Outreach to Seniors*||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Notary Services||No||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes|
|Public Seating||No||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Exam Proctoring||No||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required||Limited, or Appointment Required|
|Meeting Rooms Available||No||No||No||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes|
|In-Person Programs||No||No||No||No||No||No||Limited, or Appointment Required||Yes|
|Teen Room and Treehouse Room Open||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Ground Floor Children's Computers Available||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
Provided below are answers to questions you may have over our current closure. Should you have additional questions, or these do not answer your question well enough, please reach out to us via email, phone, or our live chat.
Borrowing and Returns During the Closure
- Should I - or how do I - return materials while the library is closed?
- Please return items you've borrowed. Due dates for digital collections still apply and will simply automatically expire and be returned if you do not return it before its due date. Our building's external drop-bins are still opening and functioning as normal.
- How is the library minimizing the spread of the coronavirus on returned materials?
- All returned items are being quaratined, separately by returned date, for a minimum of 48 hours (2 days).
New Library Accounts if the Library is Closed
- How can I apply for a library card / I would like access to digital resources and need a library card, please advise.
- If you live in the Saratoga Springs School District, please see our page, Your Library Card, for more information.
If you do not live in the Saratoga Springs School District, please refer to your local library for assistance.
Services During the Closure
- Are staff available by phone, email or chat during the closure?
- YES! Look for the chat box on our website to connect to a staff member. You can also email us or leave a phone message when we are closed. Phones and phone messages are being checked during our current business hours. Someone will return your call as soon as possible. Please note that the number returning your call may come from a private/blocked number - staff may not always be able to call back from the library's line.
- What library services and resources are available during this time?
Standard In-Library Materials
The library is currently open, with adjusted hours, for full browsing. Should you physically visit the library, most of our items are circulating, with a few exceptions (such as museum passes and other specialty items).
Various Online Resources:
The library offers various digital resources, such as research databases (some may require a library card number). Learn about popular entertainment and information options, resources geared towards youth, or even more help and tutorials about these options.
Reference and Readers’ Services:
We are still available for direct reference questions. Library staff are checking phone messages and emails during our current business hours. You can also reach us via our live chat from our website. If you have questions or are looking for reading1 suggestions2, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
The library offers substantial homework help resources found from the SSPL website; these resources are free. Also available is phone, live chat services from our website, or email for any additional requests.
Digital Programs and Activities:
We are using our Facebook page, YouTube account, and Summer Reading platform to share many ideas and activities – including live video streaming - for everyone to try. New content is being added regularly for both children and adults so check back often.
- Why does the library close when not all patrons have access to PCs, an internet connection, or books at home?
- The library takes both its duty to provide service for our community, and the safety of our patrons and staff very seriously. SSPL, among many other area libraries, closed for reasons of safety. All non-essential workers have been ordered by state mandate to stay home. We are providing as many services as we can online during this time for those with access to the internet and hope to re-open our doors as soon as it is safe for all.
Phone service is available during open hours. Please call the library and leave a message – staff are checking phones throughout the day and will get information to you as best as possible.
- Why is the library using Zoom for its virtual programs?! Isn't it insecure??
- The security research in the media is based on the standard configuration for Zoom, and how it's used by an organization. Although it's not recommended to use for highly classified communication, for a typically public program the researchers say it is safe to use. We've taken steps (even before Zoom did) to ensure that only those intended to take part in the program will access the program when used properly.
- Your own use of the software is determined by your circumstance. You do not need to enable (or have) a microphone or a videocamera to join in on the programs - though we love seeing your smiling faces. If you do enable your microphone or camera do be aware that others will also be able to hear and / or see you and your surroundings.
- New York State Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID 19
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information (NYS)
- Forwad NY Percentage Positive Results Dashboard
- New York State Department of Health – Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19)
- World Health Organization
- Library Compiled Guides, Information, and Related Resources on COVID Information