The following are statements by the Essex Library concerning COVID-19 preparedness.
- Statement Regarding Essex Library Closure – March 13, 2020
- Important Update on Essex Library Programs and Meeting Rooms – March 11, 2020
- Statement Regarding CT Emergency Declaration – March 10, 2020
- Statement Regarding New State Guidelines on COVID-19 Virus – March 9, 2020
- Statement on Essex Library Continuity Planning and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – March 2, 2020
Essex Library Association is temporarily closing to the public for all in-person services effective 12:00 p.m. (Noon) today – Friday, March 13, 2020 – due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- Our building will be closed to the public.
- The library expects to remain temporarily closed indefinitely; we are monitoring developments carefully and look forward to letting you know when the library will reopen.
- All items currently checked out are extended to April 11, 2020. While the library is temporarily closed, patrons should keep all of their library materials. Please do not return items in our book drop, place at doorways, etc. We look forward to receiving your returned items after the library has reopened; any fines accrued during the period the library is closed will be waived.
We are still offering these services, even though our building will be closed:
- Wi-Fi connectivity is available within a limited range outside of our building at 33 West Avenue
- Electronic services (e-books, digital audiobooks, movies, e-magazines) are available to cardholders via our website at www.youressexlibrary.org from RB Digital, Overdrive, Zinio and AcornTV
- A list of recommended free electronic services (movies, books, education and entertainment) that don’t require a library card is available on the Homebound Services page on our website
- Remote library card issuance is available. If you are a town resident and do not have a library card, we would be happy to issue one to you electronically. Please fill out the Patron Registration Form (available from our website) and take a photo of it or scan it. Submit the form with proof of town residency (driver’s license, utility bill) to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then be in touch to share your library barcode, which enables you to access our electronic services for cardholders.
- Library staff will continue to update our website resources and share information via our Elations newsletter, our What to Read, Watch, and Do Next suggestions, and our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
- Finally, look for your copy of our bi-annual printed newsletter, Ex Libris, in your mailbox soon.
We look forward to re-opening the library when it is safe and prudent to resume our in-person services to the Essex community. Thank you.
March 11, 2020
As you may know, Governor Lamont issued a state of emergency for Connecticut yesterday related to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. In the wake of this declaration, municipalities have started to instruct their libraries to initiate social distancing measures that include the cancellation of programs and small group meetings. This afternoon, Essex Library was informed that the Town of Essex Health Department is recommending implementation of social distancing measures.
One of the core commitments of Essex Library and other public libraries is to serve the public. Please know that we are continuing to honor that commitment while balancing public health during what we hope will be a short-term disruption. Please see below for important changes to our services and programs.
- Effective Thursday, March 12, 2020 through March 31, 2020 the library is cancelling or postponing all library programs and events. This includes children’s story times, special lectures or concerts, as well as regular meetings of book discussion and support groups.
- The library has also suspended our meeting room booking system and is cancelling all group use of our conference and program rooms from tomorrow through March 31st.
- We are sending on ‘spring break’ all of our children’s toys, trains, puppets, and similar items. These materials are being temporarily removed from circulation and from use within our facility.
- We will continue to make our patron computers available to the public, but will increase the distance between computers.
- We will also continue to accept individual reference service and passport appointments subject to prior approval by the Director.
As important as what we have temporarily suspended are the services which we are continuing to offer:
- Our facility will remain open to the public during regularly scheduled hours.
- Our books, audio books, and DVDs will continue to circulate.
- Our book drop will continue to be open for returned materials.
- Our Interlibrary Loan Services will continue to operate.
- Our e-services will continue to be available online via the library’s website.
The library asks patrons to continue observing recommended procedures such as frequent handwashing with soap and water, and not visiting the library if you are ill.
Update from Essex Library Association
March 10, 2020
Governor Lamont has issued a state of emergency for Connecticut due to the Covid-19 virus. You can view the emergency order and other orders here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus.
During an emergency, state and local health officials have authority to close businesses, schools, etc. as needed to protect public health.
Please know that Essex Library Association will fully comply with health officials. No orders have been issued for the town of Essex at this time and the library is continuing with our current programming and services, however:
We encourage patrons to check our website regularly for any event postponements or cancellations.
We also encourage patrons who have items being held for pickup to do so at their earliest convenience.
Please know that we will continue to update our Coronavirus Resource Center page on our website as well as our list of homebound services.
March 9, 2020
Essex Library Association is following the recently issued State of Connecticut guidelines for state employees regarding the Covid-19 virus. In particular, the library advises (per the State guideline) that effective today:
For meetings or events with large numbers of people within arm’s length of each other, those 70 years old or older, those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, chronic lung diseases or severely weakened immune systems should dial in or not attend.
The library is currently examining ways to enable videoconferencing participation at our upcoming events. We will update the community with this information.
For a full list of the recent state guidelines, visit: https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/coronavirus/gov-lamont-issues-new-guidance-on-coronavirus-to-state-employees/2235058/
In February, Essex Library Association and our Libraries Online (LION) consortium partners began community outbreak preparedness measures.
In cooperation with local and state officials, the library is maintaining daily updates for procedures and decision making during the rapidly evolving Covid-19 outbreak.
To date, our planning has included:
- Increased housekeeping services with special attention paid to frequent disinfection of high touch areas and equipment in the library
- Making factual resources for outbreak preparedness available in print and electronic form at the library and on our website and social media outlets.
- Alignment of library decision making regarding reducing or closing in-person services in tandem with town & state government officials and school officials.
- Should the town or school systems implement a social distance protocol that involves closing key services or facilities, the library will complement those decisions. For example, if public schools in the area close for social isolation/quarantine purposes, the Essex Library’s facility, book drop, and in-person services will also close. Patrons should not return books or other materials to the library during this time; patrons with materials already checked out will not incur fines during the period the library facility is closed.
- Provision of wireless internet (Wi-Fi) availability for the public from the library’s facility to the immediate surrounding parking area during library closure.
- Planning for Continuity of Operational needs through remote staffing, redundancy training on key services, and provision of services in a social distancing/homebound environment
- Education regarding personal and home preparedness for staff on illness prevention, workplace safety, and basic first aid
Update from Essex Library Association
re: Covid-19 Community Resources
March 2, 2020
Essex Library is providing this update to our patrons and the public regarding resources on the Covid-19 virus and community preparation and response.
Public Information Table
The library now has a centralized collection of printed resources related to the Covid-19 virus available in our atrium at the library. These resources are also available online via the library’s website at www.youressexlibrary.org
Online Resource Center
The library has created this online resource center on our website at ⦁ www.youressexlibrary.org with Covid-19 health related information. Information and links will be updated regularly. Resources include:
- Town of Essex links and preparedness sites
- State of Connecticut links
- U.S. Federal links
- Health specific information from resources such as the Centers on Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), MedlinePlus, and others
- Outbreak preparedness resources for area businesses and organizations covering continuity of operations planning
- Outbreak preparedness resources for individuals including basic family emergency supply lists
Also on our website, is a special Covid-19 homebound services page which offers links to entertainment and information from home. Resources include:
- Links to existing free library services such as RB Digital and Overdrive; these services are available with your library card
- Links to existing free services that do not require a library card, such as Google Books