Saturday, July 4, 2020: Independence Day - LIBRARY CLOSED
Email and Phone Reference Service Hours: Mon-Thu: 9am - 6pm  |  Fri-Sat: 9am - 5pm
Contactless Pick-up Service Hours (by appointment): Mon-Thu: 10am - 6pm  |  Fri-Sat: 10am - 4pm

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Information on our Contactless Pick-Up Process

Authored on Thursday, June 18th, 2020 at 6:12pm
As we begin to reopen with a reduced staff and hours, our initial service offering for requesting and retrieving materials will be quite different. We share here the process and expectations for item return and pick-up.

For an easily readable and printable document with some additional details, please see the supplemental files.

The library building is only open for patrons with appointments for their contactless pick-up of holds for now. All other activities will continue to be done remotely. We cannot accept donations of materials yet but appreciate your generosity.

Contactless Service Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 10-6pm
Friday - Saturday: 10-4pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Requesting Materials:

A library card must be in good standing to request items for contactless pickup. Place items on hold online using the catalog or by contacting the Reference staff by phone, email, or chat just as usual. If you need book recommendations please fill out our online recommendation form.

Notes:

  • Same-day pickup of items from placing a hold is not currently available
  • Wait for a notification that your holds are ready for pickup (either by email if available, or by postal mail)
    • Call the number provided in your holds notification to make an appointment

Pre-Scheduled Contactless Pick-up Appointment Process

What you will need:

  1. A pre-scheduled appointment
  2. Your library card or valid legal photo identification (like a driver's license)
  3. Face covering that covers your mouth and nose

The process:

  • Up to 30 items will be retrieved for each card holder in your household on your appointment day
    • Please consider bringing a bag or other means to carry items to your car
  • On the day of your appointment, arrive at the library from the Putnam Street entrance
  • Wear your face covering
  • Provide proper identification (or your library card) to confirm your appointment - a staff member will let you into the building
  • Follow signage and waiting areas to maintain social distancing protocols

Returning Items:

  • The building's external return areas are open; our Circulation Desk is not accessible - please place returns in drops or designated bins
    • If you have questions on your returns you will need to call, email, or use our online chat
  • All returns are quarantined for 72 hours so will not be immediately checked in
  • To return specialty items like Kits, Backpacks, Launchpads, Lawn Games, etc., please wait until Contactless Pick-up service begins and deliver these items to the Putnam Street door during our open hours

Target Date to Start Contactless Pick-Up of Holds: 6/22

Authored on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 5:13pm
We share information on what and how we will offer services, keep the public and staff safe, as well as timelines for all currently expected procedures.

Hello, Saratoga! We know you’re eager to know when library service will begin to ramp back up. This week, the Library’s Board had two special meetings. One on Monday, and one on Thursday. The purposes of the first meeting were approving June 22 as the targeted date for us to begin our first stage of contactless circulation of physical library materials, declaring some additional staff as essential in order to prepare for that, and to begin discussion of our state-required Business Reopening Safety Plan.

The purposes of the second were to take action on approving the Business Reopening Safety Plan, and  to declare additional staff as essential to begin implementing that, as well as approving a public service schedule for the first stage, since in-library staffing will still be minimal. When we begin contactless pickup on June 22, our schedule for that service will be Monday-Thursday, 10AM-6PM, and Friday-Saturday, 10AM-4PM.

While our library returns drops never closed, we have encouraged people who have items checked out to hang on to them because there is no one in the library to check them in. We anticipate that we will be able to allow staff back into the building by midweek next week to start that process.

At the moment, there are approximately 3,000 items in the library waiting to be checked in and shelved or shipped back to their owning libraries, and about 26,000 items checked out of our library alone. Throughout the SALS and MVLS regions, there are about 271,000 items out. If they all come flooding back in at the same time, we will be overwhelmed, so we ask that you hold on to them for a bit longer. All due dates and overdue fines are still suspended.

While we will soon be ready to accept returns in earnest, and even though we are grateful for your generosity, we are still unable to do anything with donated materials, so we ask that you hold on to them until further notice.

When we are able to begin contactless pickup, it will be by appointment only, and it is very unlikely that it will be a same day service, given the complexity of our required safety protocols, the size of our building, and the number of requests. Much more information about how that process will work will be coming soon. When we are ready to begin that service, there will be some new rules in place, including social distancing, a requirement to wear a face covering, and a “no-lingering” rule in order to be able to serve as many people as possible as safely as possible. Staff will be routinely cleaning and disinfecting and will be required to maintain their distance from one another.

We do what we do because we love to be of service, and we love to connect with our community. We can’t wait to see you, and we know that this new, and hopefully temporary, way of doing things will take a lot of adjustment on our parts as well as yours, and even though we are all working hard from home, we are eager to see your faces and put books, movies, and music into your hands.

Ike Pulver, Library Director

Library Update on our Current COVID Plan

Authored on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 at 5:06pm
Updates on our current progress in conjunction with other local libraries, the state and federal guidelines, and what will be covered in the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.

With New York slowly reopening, we want to give you an update about what that process might look like for the library, as well as update you about our rescheduled budget vote and trustee election.

There will be a special meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees at 4:00PM, on Monday, June 1. The primary topic on the agenda will be approval of the library’s multi-phased reopening plan, and a state-required Business Re-Opening Safety Plan, which we are currently drafting. That meeting will be followed at 5:00PM by a hearing to present the library’s budget. Both of these meetings will be held via Zoom, and streamed on the library’s website, and Facebook page.

Our reopening will happen in stages. In the initial several stages, most staff will continue to work from home, and most services will continue to be virtual. In later stages, we anticipate being able to offer contactless pick-up of library materials, and eventually to allow the public back into the building, with limitations.

The time-frame for offering access to physical library materials is still uncertain, however, we are working with other member libraries of the Southern Adirondack Library System – particularly our peers at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls and the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, as well as our partners in the Mohawk Valley Library System, with whom we share a catalog and resources – on coordinating our reopening plans.

As much as possible, when we resume sharing physical materials we would like to be on the same page about how to safely handle them, how long to quarantine them, and how not to overwhelm our 8-county delivery system with the 271,000 items that are currently checked-out of our collective libraries.

We anticipate that contactless service could be in place by the week of June 21. A Saratoga Springs Public Library Business Reopening Safety Plan is available on our website.

While much is still unsure, we have made a few difficult decisions in order to keep library users and workers safe. All in-person programs and any use of library meeting rooms have been suspended until September. We will continue to present programs via Zoom and our social media channels over the summer, including our Summer Reading Program. Watch for much more to come about that.

For the upcoming fiscal year, we have prepared a budget with no increase in spending or taxes, and although, in that situation, a vote is not required, we will have one. This year the vote is coordinated with the Saratoga Springs City School District vote, and will take place entirely by absentee ballot. The library’s budget proposition and trustee candidates will appear on the same ballot as the school district’s budget propositions and school board candidates. A ballot will automatically be mailed to every eligible voter in the district, and must be returned to the school district by 5:00PM on June 9. More information about the budget can be found on our website.

Library services continue to be vitally important to our community, and will be even more so during our recovery and the difficult days ahead. We appreciate your continued support, and look forward to seeing you all in-person, when it is safer to do so.

Ike Pulver, Library Director

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