Libraries offer services as they prepare to reopen

Kumi Tucker
Updated: June 29, 2020 06:13 PM
Created: June 29, 2020 06:02 PM

Hundreds of people usually come into the Amsterdam Free Library every day, but the stacks are quiet now. 

"It hasn't been easy," said Amsterdam Library Director Nicole Hemsley.  "Our jobs are serving our community. And not being able to be open has been really difficult. We're trying to give as many services as we can virtually."


The Amsterdam Free Library is planning to reopen next month with limited hours and special access time for seniors. 

In the meantime, they've got curbside service for book pickup. 

The William K. Sanford Library in Colonie also offers curbside pickup.  They've also begun letting people inside, ten at a time.  

People can make an appointment to use the computers. 

"We've been helping with unemployment applications. We've been helping people with resumes," said Colonie Library Director Evelyn Neale. 

Returned books are quarantined for three days. 

For those who don't have internet access, many libraries have moved equipment to allow people to access their WiFi from the parking lot. 

Libraries are a haven.  People come here to find answers, or help, or the escape of a good book. 

"And for all of us here, the library really is a cornerstone of Amsterdam," said Hemsley.  "We see hundreds of people a day come in for not only books, but a ton of different services." 

"It's also a place of comfort for everybody," said Neale.  "So it's a place that people can come and do something that they're used to doing.  With all the changes that everybody's been through, it's a community resource."

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