Albany Public Library offering in-person services with restrictions while COVID transmission is high

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Public Library is operating under a pandemic operations plan that will ensure people get access to crucial core services, while not putting public safety at risk. At this time, the CDC considers Albany County to have a high rate of COVID-19 transmission.

“We are dedicated to providing services to the community, but we want to do it as safely as possible and it’s our job to follow the science,” said Scott Jarzombek, APL Executive Director, “and we’re working hard to make our library safe for everybody.”

The library has been requiring masks throughout the pandemic to keep it a safe space for the immunocompromised and kids under 12 who can’t get vaccinated. So what’s changed?

While Albany County is in the “red,” people can still use the computers, receive document services, reload their CDTA bus passes, and take out books. But you may have to wait at the door for other patrons to leave so everyone can spread out. Additionally, some programs will be offered virtually, seating is restricted, and material return has to be done only via book drop.

Under the new pandemic operations plan, the library will slowly implement phase restrictions on which in-person library services are permitted when the amount of community transmission of COVID-19 increases. And as community transmission decreases, the library will reintroduce those services. Regardless of phase, the core services will remain available to patrons in person at the branch libraries.

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