COVID-19 Information2021-05-14T17:04:09-04:00

Calvert Library to Increase Access

May 14, 2021

Calvert Library is phasing in more access. As of Saturday, May 22, the one-hour limitation on library use will be lifted. Building capacity limits will also be increased. Customers will still be asked to wear an appropriate mask over their nose and mouth and to maintain a social distance of 6′ from others and help their children do the same.

On June 1, all library locations will be extending their walk-in building hours to Monday through Thursday, 10am to 7pm, Friday 1-5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Curbside services will continue to be offered during those times as well. When asked what facilitated this increase in hours, Executive Director Carrie Willson said, “We are now at the stage where most of our staff have been vaccinated, and we will be able to work confidently together without risking quarantining a large segment of our staff if someone becomes ill.” She added, “We know morning library visits have been missed, particularly by some of our oldest and youngest customers. We are all very much looking forward to the return of those who couldn’t come because of an afternoon nap time.”

The Maryland Department of Health has advised that quarantining library materials be ended as of June 1. This will speed up the pace of getting new titles into borrowers’ hands.

Vaccination rates in Calvert County continue to lag behind other areas of the state, thus the risk of transmission is higher, particularly among the vulnerable populations the library serves. Library leadership stays in close touch with the local Health Department about county numbers and recommendations. If the local pace of vaccinations continues and Calvert County reaches the state level of vaccinations, the library will be able to open meeting rooms. The library currently hopes to make them available for reservations beginning in July. Small tutoring rooms and study rooms have been available for reservation since September, 2020.

Board of Library Trustees President Jeffrey Lewis said, “We are pleased to be able to phase in expanded access over the next several weeks. We are optimistic that our customers will continue to follow our requests for masking and social distancing so that we can stay accessible to all. We hope that our local vaccination rates continue to rise so we can confidently increase access.” Executive Director Willson added, “If you know people who are still on the fence about getting vaccinated, have them join us and physician Michelle Folsom Elder for an online lunch conversation on Thursday, May 27 where you can bring your questions and concerns about the vaccine.” Registration for this conversation is required to receive the Zoom link to participate live. It will also be streamed to Calvert Library’s YouTube page. Call Calvert Library at 410-535-0291 or visit calvertlibrary.info for more information.

For the health and safety of others, if you are exhibiting symptoms of a contagious disease, especially coronavirus, please stay home and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. More information about coronavirus is available in the Research & Learn section of the library website.

Call 410-535-0291 or email getanswers@calvertlibrary.info with any reference questions you may have.

January 25, 2021

Thanks to declining COVID-19 positivity numbers, Calvert Library is welcoming customers back in for short visits beginning Wednesday, January 27 at noon.  According to Executive Director, Carrie Willson, “Positivity numbers are continuing to decline so with continued customer cooperation, we will open on Wednesday to walk-in customers.”  Customers are still asked to keep visits as short as possible and no longer than an hour, wear an appropriate mask over your nose and mouth, maintain a social distance of 6’ from others and help your children do the same. Willson added, “COVID is still out there so I ask anyone experiencing symptoms to please stay home and call your healthcare provider for advice.”

At all four library locations, in-person library hours will be Monday-Thursday, noon to 5pm, Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Curbside pickup appointments will continue Monday-Thursday, 10am to 7pm; Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

Call any Calvert Library location for assistance or appointments. Customers can also follow and interact with library staff on Facebook and Twitter.  More information about coronavirus is available in the Research & Learn section of the library website.

Call 410-535-0291 or email getanswers@calvertlibrary.info with any reference questions you may have.

December 31, 2020

The health and well-being of our community continue to be Calvert Library’s top priorities. The library has been closely monitoring the situation and has decided to temporarily revert to curbside and virtual service only.  We love seeing our customers among our shelves and at our computers. Calvert Library was the last Maryland library system still offering walk-in access and we expect this to be a much shorter-term closure than our initial one.  Our procedures and safety protocols are sound. However, in light of the increasing positivity numbers in Calvert and the expected holiday surge in cases, for staff and customer safety and peace of mind, Calvert Library will be closing their buildings to the public at 5pm on December 31 and moving to a curbside and virtual service-only model until January 25 at 10am.  We hope that this temporary service restriction will reduce the burden on the hospital and health care providers during this time of rising cases.

All library locations will continue to provide contactless curbside appointments for materials, printing, copying and faxing on the current schedule–Monday-Thursday, 10am to 7pm, Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.  Phone and Zoom reference and reader’s advisory, virtual events and classes and downloadable movies, eBooks, audiobooks and music will continue to be available.  Many of these services are now easily accessible through the Calvert Library app available for both Apple and Android devices in the App/Play Store.  Calvert Library will soon be circulating Chromebooks to assist those customers who will not have computer access during the building closure.  Wi-Fi hotspots will also be available to check out and Wi-Fi continues to be available in all library parking lots.

The main library experience that customers told us they missed when we closed our buildings in March was browsing for materials.  Our receptive and creative staff ran with a customer idea to offer a mini-browsing experience with grab bags via curbside pickup. This has been a very popular service even after we opened the building again.  We’ll certainly keep that service going during this temporary closure and beyond.

Call any Calvert Library location for assistance or appointments. Customers can also follow and interact with library staff on Facebook and Twitter.

For the health and safety of others, if you are exhibiting symptoms of a contagious disease, especially coronavirus, please stay home and call your healthcare provider for medical advice.  More information about coronavirus is available in the Research & Learn section of the library website.

Call 410-535-0291 or email getanswers@calvertlibrary.info with any reference questions you may have.

Carrie Willson
Executive Director

January 22, 2021

While Calvert Library had optimistically forecast reopening their doors for browsing and computer use on Monday, January 25, the current positivity rates have led to the decision to postpone reopening for a bit longer.

CDC guidelines indicate that there is a higher risk of transmission when positivity rates are over 8%* and Calvert’s are still above that. According to Executive Director, Carrie Willson, “We continue to balance the community need for safety and the need for information and entertainment. When we know of a customer need, our staff are being incredibly resourceful in meeting that need. While we can’t let people in to browse, we have offered a large selection of materials in grab bags as a sort of mini-browsing experience.

“People needing a quiet place to work are parking in our parking lots, connecting to our Wi-Fi and working. Adding more Wi-Fi hotspots and circulating Chromebooks has filled another gap. Even so, we look forward to welcoming people back in our buildings as soon as is reasonable, stay tuned!”

All four library locations have continued to serve thousands of customers through contactless curbside pickup in January and over 20,000 items have been checked out in this way. Downloadable materials continue to be well-used and virtual events and classes well-attended. Librarians are even faxing, printing and scanning customers’ documents, a service that over 100 customers have taken advantage of in January alone. Over thirty virtual one-on-one tech classes have been taught and more than 1,000 reference questions answered.

Call any Calvert Library location for assistance or appointments. Customers can also follow and interact with library staff on Facebook and Twitter.

For the health and safety of others, if you are exhibiting symptoms of a contagious disease, especially coronavirus, please stay home and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. More information about coronavirus is available in the Research & Learn section of the library website.

Call 410-535-0291 or email getanswers@calvertlibrary.info with any reference questions you may have.

*https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/indicators.html#thresholds

December 31, 2020

The health and well-being of our community continue to be Calvert Library’s top priorities. The library has been closely monitoring the situation and has decided to temporarily revert to curbside and virtual service only.  We love seeing our customers among our shelves and at our computers. Calvert Library was the last Maryland library system still offering walk-in access and we expect this to be a much shorter-term closure than our initial one.  Our procedures and safety protocols are sound. However, in light of the increasing positivity numbers in Calvert and the expected holiday surge in cases, for staff and customer safety and peace of mind, Calvert Library will be closing their buildings to the public at 5pm on December 31 and moving to a curbside and virtual service-only model until January 25 at 10am.  We hope that this temporary service restriction will reduce the burden on the hospital and health care providers during this time of rising cases.

All library locations will continue to provide contactless curbside appointments for materials, printing, copying and faxing on the current schedule–Monday-Thursday, 10am to 7pm, Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.  Phone and Zoom reference and reader’s advisory, virtual events and classes and downloadable movies, eBooks, audiobooks and music will continue to be available.  Many of these services are now easily accessible through the Calvert Library app available for both Apple and Android devices in the App/Play Store.  Calvert Library will soon be circulating Chromebooks to assist those customers who will not have computer access during the building closure.  Wi-Fi hotspots will also be available to check out and Wi-Fi continues to be available in all library parking lots.

The main library experience that customers told us they missed when we closed our buildings in March was browsing for materials.  Our receptive and creative staff ran with a customer idea to offer a mini-browsing experience with grab bags via curbside pickup. This has been a very popular service even after we opened the building again.  We’ll certainly keep that service going during this temporary closure and beyond.

Call any Calvert Library location for assistance or appointments. Customers can also follow and interact with library staff on Facebook and Twitter.

For the health and safety of others, if you are exhibiting symptoms of a contagious disease, especially coronavirus, please stay home and call your healthcare provider for medical advice.  More information about coronavirus is available in the Research & Learn section of the library website.

Call 410-535-0291 or email getanswers@calvertlibrary.info with any reference questions you may have.

Carrie Willson
Executive Director

November 3, 2020

Calvert Library has been observing abundantly cautious quarantine periods for returned library materials. Those decisions have been informed by the Battelle REALM* study.  Battelle has been conducting research since April 22 on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials common to libraries, archives, and museums.

Recently, Maryland Department of Health was asked to review the REALM study results to make a recommendation to Maryland libraries. Additionally, our own Health Department provided a more detailed explanation that while studies are detecting “portions of the virus (RNA or surface proteins),” that “is not equivalent to detecting intact virus particles capable of causing infection.”

  • In light of this information, Calvert Library is changing the quarantine period for materials returned to our locations to 48 hours.
  • A 48-hour quarantine should help make materials available to our customers more quickly while continuing to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.
  • Library staff and visitors to library facilities continue to be appropriately masked and staff wash their hands frequently.
  • Visit our COVID-19 resource page for specific recommendations and other COVID-19 related information.

September 11, 2020

Greetings,

I am pleased to report that Calvert Library Prince Frederick opened on Monday, August 31 for limited services. For this phase, in-person library hours will be Monday-Thursday, noon to 5pm, Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Curbside pickup appointments will continue with hours increasing to Monday-Thursday, 10am to 7pm; Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Calvert Library’s Branches (Fairview, Twin Beaches and Southern) opened with the same hours on Tuesday, September 8.

Per Governor Hogan’s order, customers over the age of five will be required to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth and to maintain a social distance of 6’ from others. Customers entering with children are asked to stay together and help their children maintain social distance. The number of customers in the building at one time will be monitored and limited. In order to maximize the number of customers who can take advantage of library services, customers will be asked to keep their visit to an hour or less.

We’ve been serving customers from home and online since the pandemic closed our buildings. We have even used the outside of our buildings to post community resources and of course, offer wifi in our parking lots. We’ve had two weeks of this new model in Prince Frederick and it seems to be going well. Customers and staff are all following health and safety requirements.

We do not plan to open our meeting rooms for the foreseeable future as those spaces are currently being used for quarantining returned materials and storing furniture not conducive to healthy use of the library. Returned library materials are quarantined for a week prior to being checked in based on a recently released study concerning the length of time the virus might survive on library material surfaces.

Please stay home if you are vulnerable or ill. Our staff can help you over the phone. Calvert Library has always prided itself on being the community’s “third place,” for connecting to one another and the world. At this time, for our community’s safety, our priority in the building is to provide quick access to library materials, information and training that can’t be accessed via phone, email or video chat.

Carrie Willson
Executive Director

June 9, 2020

Greetings from Calvert Library,

With everything else going on in the world, I’m happy to report that we have good news about your library. We will be opening book returns on June 10 and beginning curbside pick-up on June 22.

The safety of our staff and customers continues to be our highest priority and we have taken some extra time to plan and put software into place to make the process easy-to-use.

• Materials that are returned will be quarantined for 4 days so they will stay on your account until that time has elapsed.
• Materials that you check out will be ready-to-use/read but you are welcome to do an additional 4-day quarantine when you take them home.
• You will be able to pick up bagged materials that you have placed on hold in the library catalog in library vestibules or via trunk delivery.
• We will be releasing a series of Can Do Digital Videos

How to Check Your Account so you know what library materials to look for under your sofa and give you time to remember who you lent things to during our closure. Nothing is technically due until August 1, so you have plenty of time to find everything you have checked out and we are still fine-free.
How to Place Holds to get the items you are looking for
How to Search for Your Next Read including a brand new online Personalized Suggestions form
How to Make a Curbside Appointment using our new software

Other safety precautions:

  • Staff and customers (over the age of 2) are required to wear face coverings over nose and mouth
  • Staff will be washing hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Staff and customers will be maintaining proper distance during any in-person interactions.
  • For now, interactions not involving physical library materials should be via phone, email or online.

While our buildings are closed, staff are answering phones and email from home.

We won’t be offering in-person group classes/events this summer but we will continue to offer high quality classes/events online. Please put June 20 on your calendar for our online kickoff for #calvertREADS. Beginning at noon on the 20th, we’ll have how-to videos, pottery and cooking demonstrations, performances and more!

We don’t know when it will be recommended that we invite the public back in to the buildings but we’re busy making adjustments inside each space to be ready to invite users back in to browse, use computers and see our wonderful librarians face to face (or at least covered face to covered face)!

We miss seeing you and we look forward to returning to more normal service in the library locations in the future. In the meantime, we’re glad that we’ll start to be able to get books and movies and other real-life library materials into your hands starting June 22!

Carrie Willson
Executive Director

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