Greenwich Free Library

June Newsletter

Interesting Times

I have made several attempts in the last few weeks to put out a newsletter with updates on what we were doing and planning at the library. But every time I thought I had a good draft, something came along to drastically change things and I had to start over. The phrase "may you live in interesting times" has been running through my head a lot. (Being a librarian, I felt a need to investigate the origins of that supposed Chinese curse and, as with so much attributed to China of late, found the evidence to be tenuous at best.)

I hope you have had a chance to go to our website and explore all the resources available online. Some are old favorites like ebooks and audio books and databases. Some are new like Kanopy - a movie streaming service available to Greenwich Free Library cardholders- a list of WiFi access spots for the public and Miss Emilly's super-popular virtual storytimes. You can also get a library card or get a reminder of your forgotten card number and use our Remote Notary service by emailing Jen Our staff has been stepping up and working harder than ever to bring the library to you when you can't get to us.

Since we all know that things won't be back to normal any time soon, we plan to keep building these socially-distanced resources even as things open up. Please consider joining in with our revamped online Summer Reading program. For the first time, we will have an adult category! Email Jen to take part in our next Cookbook Book Club over Zoom (I made a very strange soup as we discussed the last book.) Email Emilly to join the Lego Challenge Facebook Group. Contact me to borrow a laptop There's always something new, so keep an eye out and spread the word. And please call or email if you are having trouble navigating this brave new world. We are still the people who, more than anything, love to help you get what you need.

As we approach what looks like the beginning of the reopening process for our region, I thought I had better just dive in and report on current conditions and tentative plans; keeping in mind that everything could change before I hit "send".

As of right now, we still don't know which opening phase libraries are in, so we can't give anyone any idea when we'll be opening. I can tell you that we will be opening gradually and that, while we are doing our best to coordinate our services, each library in the SALS system will be working with a different set of challenges and will be doing things a bit differently.

Here are some of the things we do know about our library:

  • We have to get all those books back (Thank you for holding on to them!), quarantine them for some, as yet undetermined, length of time and start sending them off to their home libraries.
  • We will have limited hours until we bring volunteers back. Considering the average age of our volunteers (WE LOVE YOU! WE MISS YOU!), that won't be soon.
  • We will have limited public computer access to allow for appropriate distancing.
  • We won't be hosting any programs or groups - our own or from the community - in our meeting rooms for a while.
  • We will encourage people to put items on hold, using the online catalog or over the phone, and do a quick pick up, rather than a leisurely browse.
  • We will have to limit the number of people in the building at one time.
  • There won't be toys, seating, newspapers or any of the things that encourage people to spend time with us.

If this all sounds horrible to you, just imagine how it feels for us. We have worked so hard to be that "Third Place" for our community and we know it is needed now more than ever. These days, however, our first priority has to be the health of our staff, our patrons and the larger community.

Just remember that we are still here for you and are just a phone call or email away.

With best wishes for your good health,


Even Plants Have Gone Virtual!

Although we are not having our annual plant sale, Andrea Grom did grow a lot of wonderful plants and has devised a plan for getting them out to people and making a donation to the library. As of today, she has tomatoes and herbs still up for grabs. If you'd like to find out what's available and put in an order, email Andrea

Helpful Links for Reopening

Can my business open?

Washington County Health Department

NY State Health Department

United States Small Business Administration

Greater Greenwich Chamber of Commerce COVID -19 resources

Museums Online

Our popular passes are sitting unused in a cabinet but, creative places that they are, many museums have developed online resources that allow us to experience what they have to offer. Check out these links:

Children's Museum at Saratoga

The Hyde Collection and other members of the Empire State Museums Reciprocal Program

The Wild Center

A Big Change!

After a burst pipe caused catastrophic water damage this winter, we had to take down the rental house behind the library. Inspection by professionals determined that it was unsalvageable and should be removed as quickly as possible to keep it from becoming a hazard. We're sorry to see this link to the library's past go. Now what can we do with the space?
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