One thing that we always strive for as library professionals is providing people looking for information on a topic with resources that present the facts in an unbiased manner. It seems that it gets harder to find resources that present just the facts without being weighed down in the presenters opinion.
A team team of researchers and students at Brown, MIT, Harvard, Mass General as well as other highly regarded institutions have put together a resource to help provide you with the information you need from unbiased resources.
I hope you will find COVID-EXPLAINED useful and a place to turn to when trying to verify that story your friend or relative just shared on Facebook or when you look to share information with your social networks.
As you probably already know, the Governor has extended the Stay Home orders through June 4th for Delaware County. This means that the library will remain closed for all in-person services through this time.
Delaware County Libraries have made the following adjustments to holds and due dates:
Library staff are busy planning for returning to the library to offer services as soon as we are given the green light to do so. We are working hard to establish procedures and practices that will be safe for staff and the community. We anticipate that library programming will continue to be offered virtually through the summer.
We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the library building when it's safe to do so. The library continues to serve the community through our virtual programs and our 24/7 Digital Library.
At the direction of the Deputy Secretary for Libraries, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries has directed all Pennsylvania public libraries to remain closed until further notice is given.
No library items will be due and no fines will accrue while the library is closed. Staff are working from home and will not be checking in any items that are returned to the library until we are given permission to return to the building.
Stay home, stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the library when we reopen.
With Governor Wolf's announcement of a Stay at Home Order for Delaware County, we have updated our anticipated date to open the library to the public. The library will remain closed through April 6th.
During this closure, staff are not reporting to work at the library but phones will be open for calls between 10am & 5pm Monday through Friday. The library's 24/7 Digital Library is available from the comfort and safety of your home. Many services can be accessed using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or streaming device. Delaware County Libraries offer additional digital resources to help keep you connected and learning during this period.
In an abundance of caution and following the current CDC guidelines regarding public gatherings, we have also made the decision to cancel all in-person and outreach programming through May 10th. Library staff have been working hard to provide a variety of programs for all ages that you can acces virtually through Facebook, conferencing software and other means that can be accessed from home. We will continue to offer these services until we are given further guidance on the safety of in-person programming.
Thank you so much for all your understanding and support as we navigate these unusual times.
This has been another week of rapid change as we respond to new information and directives during this time of crisis. Your library team has been fantastic with their creativity and flexibility in dealing with each day as it comes. We all miss seeing our wonderful community at the library but have been enjoying connecting with everyone through Facebook this week.
As you probably already know, the Governor has ordered all but life-sustaining businesses to cease operations even if closed to the public. What does this mean for the library?
Stay home & stay safe!
Dear Middletown Free Library Community,
As you know we had to close the library to the public before our anticipated date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as the situation changed very rapidly from day to day. I anticipate that this will continue to be the case as more testing occurs and new guidelines and recommendations go in to place.
This morning some of the staff met at the library, keeping social distancing measures in mind, to brainstorm ways we can continue to provide services while our doors are closed to our wonderful patrons. You should be so proud of this dedicated and creative group of people who make up our team at the Middletown Free Library. We will be rolling out virtual programs throughout the week to help keep you connected with the library and each other.
We have also made the tough decision, should the library be able to re-open on March 30th, to cancel all in-person library programming through Sunday, May 10th. The current CDC recommendation is to cancel all gatherings of more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks, keeping this guideline in mind and the fact that our library serves many vulnerable groups, we felt this was the best course of action to take to prevent too many people occupying library spaces at one time. We will continue to roll our virtual programs that can occur via the internet, on Facebook and via dial-in options so that lack of access to computers or internet service are not a barrier to our users.
Some things the library is currently doing to help keep you connected:
Bookmark this page or sign-up for our e-newsletter to keep up with the library while we are closed.
Stay home & stay safe! We look forward to seeing you soon.
In light of a National, State and County State of Emergency, we have decided to close the Library starting Monday, March 16th. This has not been an easy decision to make but in light of schools closing and the direction to limit social interactions to help slow down the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) this is the most prudent action to take at this time.
Effective Monday, March 16th, the Middletown Free Library will close to the public, and this closure will remain in effect until at least March 29th. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow and advice provided by county, township and library officials.
At this time, library staff will be reporting to work in order to answer phone calls and provide support to the community to help them access information they may need at this time. We are looking into ways to provide a remote Read Aloud program and other activities that you can access from the comfort of your home. Please check the library’s website, social media or sign-up for our e-newsletter for any changes to library “virtual” hours. At this time we do not plan on being open to the public for pick-up of materials.
If you have holds to pick-up or want to stop in and checkout materials before we close we will be open:
• Saturday, March 14th 11am-4pm
• Sunday, March 15th 1pm-4pm
Please notify the library if you will be sending a friend or family member to pick up your items as Pennsylvania Privacy Laws do not permit staff to check out items for another party without you library card or express permission.
You will not be permitted to take out Board Games, Library of Things kits, or Museum Passes.
Please be assured that you will not be responsible for any late fees accrued during the period of time the library is closed. Our book drop will remain open for returns if you wish to drop off materials. We are working with Delaware County Libraries to renew materials automatically while libraries are closed. You may also call and we will renew items over the phone or you can renew most items online.
The Library is proud to offer a robust 24/7 Digital Library offering a wide variety of resources to keep you learning, informed and entertained any time the library is closed. If you do not have a library card and wish to access these resources, please call us at 610-566-7828 and we will issue you a library card number over the phone. This card will be good for one month at which time you will need to visit the library to sign your application and pick-up your card.
Other measures we will be taking while we are closed is having a hospital-grade deep cleaning of the library followed up with weekly deep cleanings every Monday evening beginning March 23rd. We will continue this practice for as long as we feel it is necessary.
While this has not been an easy decision, we feel strongly that now is the time for decisive action in order to protect the people we serve every day, as well as our staff and volunteers, who have been going above and beyond to continue providing service over the last several days as this public health crisis has taken hold.
We look forward to seeing you all back at the library in a couple of weeks.
In an abundance of caution to do our part in helping to prevent community exposure to possible Coronavirus, we will be cancelling all programs starting Monday, March 16th through April 5th. This timeframe may be extended based on this ever evolving situation. In addition, we will be removing all toys from the Children's Area.
This decision has not been made lightly and we want to assure you that we are not giving in to panic. We have evaluated available information about how this virus is spread and the importance of prevention.
For coronavirus, "social distancing” is recommended at a 6 foot radius and it is impossible for us to create this kind of social distance in a program. The idea of social distancing is to keep people from spreading a disease in large crowds. Slowing the spread (even if it is inevitable) keeps the number of infected people lower across time. This prevents medical systems from being overwhelmed all at once, and also buys time to obtain and distribute necessary supplies. We are also aware that many of our programs attract attendees who fall in to the category of people most at risk for complications from COVID-19.
We apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment this may cause but we feel we must act proactively in this situation.
The health and safety of our library community is our highest priority. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to have an increased impact on our communities, I want to share some of the actions Middletown Free Library is taking to keep both you and our employees healthy. As this situation continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring announcements from Delaware County Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as keeping in contact with Township Officials. We will continue to take all the information we gather into consideration as we examine our approach to handling this pandemic.
While our library remains open and operating as normal, we are evaluating taking a proactive approach at the Library with regard to the importance of social distancing in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Please keep an eye on this website, Facebook and be sure you are on our email list in order to received important updates to any changes in programs, services or hours. You can sign-up for the e-newsletter HERE.
We recommend that customers wash or sanitize their hands before using public computers or restrooms, as well as before handling materials and other public surfaces such as door knobs. We also recommend that people wash or sanitize their hands again after all such interactions. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are available by the computer stations, in the Children's Area and at the front desk.
We are taking measures to ensure our spaces are cleaned thoroughly every day by both staff and regular janitorial services. Our staff routinely clean work surfaces, including (but not limited to): counter-tops, chairs & couches, computer keyboards and mice, and printers.
We encourage any concerned customers, especially those in high-risk populations, to stay home if they are feeling ill or are simply concerned about potential exposure. Reported illnesses of coronavirus have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. All employees exhibiting flu and/or coronavirus symptoms have been instructed to stay home and follow MFL sick leave procedures.
What We Are Doing:
This is a rapidly developing situation so please be sure to check here for any updates or changes to hours or services.
Delaware County has set-up a page on their website where you can keep up to date with the latest information as it pertains to Coronavirus specifically in Delaware County. The page also contains to links to Commonwealth resources and general tips.