Reopening FAQs for Library Patrons
Is the Library open?
Yes! While patrons are still able to visit the library in person, we are encouraging all patrons to only visit the library for essential services, to keep their visits under 15 minutes, and to take advantage of our Curbside Pickup service whenever possible. Computers are still available to use by appointment.
Please note that we are at limited capacity and 15 patrons are allowed in at one time. In the event of a line forming outside the Library, please stand 6 ft. apart in the direction of the bulletin boards (away from the Town Hall tables).
Is the Book Drop open?
Yes! Our book drop has had a face-lift – bright green paint and new lettering so it’s easier to spot! All returns must be placed in the book drop so that they can be quarantined for 24 hours before being checked in. As a result of this quarantine period, you will still see items on your account for 24 hours after you have returned them, but you will not accrue any fines during this quarantine period.
If an item doesn’t fit in the book drop, please let us know so that a staff member can take it with gloves and put it in the quarantine area.
Are you taking donations of books, CDs, DVDs, etc.?
Due to health and safety concerns, we are not accepting donations at this time. However, there is now a Discover Books donation bin in our parking lot for book donations. Please note: This donation bin is not owned by the library and is NOT for library returns. All items deposited in the Discover Books donation bin will be donated.
I returned my books, but they are still checked out on my account. What should I do?
Per state recommendations, all returns will be quarantined for 24 hours before being checked in. As a result of this quarantine period, you will still see items on your account for 24 hours after you have returned them, but you will not accrue any fines during this 24-hour period. We thank you for your patience - please wait one business day and then check your account again.
Why have my items been "In Transit" for so long?
Per state recommendations, deliveries are being quarantined before being checked in. As a result of this quarantine period, you may experience delays in receiving your holds. We are working hard to ensure that you received your materials as quickly and safely as possible and we thank you for your patience.
Can I bring my laptop to the library?
For safety reasons, our reading areas are currently closed and furniture has been moved/removed. At this time, we have one study table available to one party of no more than two people with a 90-minute limit. The study table is currently available on a first come, first served basis.
The library also has free WiFi in the parking lot, available to everyone, no library card or password required! You are welcome to access our free WiFi on your laptop or mobile device from the comfort of your car!
Is the Children’s Area open?
The Children’s Area is open for browsing with a limited capacity, but the seating and toys have been removed. We encourage you to take advantage of our Curbside Pickup service to maintain social distancing. Don't know what you want? Give us a call at 822-9102 and our Youth Services staff will be happy to help!
Can I enter the Library without a mask?
According to the Governor’s Executive Order 21-37, patrons must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times while in the Library. If you are unable to do so, we ask that you take advantage of our Curbside service. We thank you for your cooperation.
Can I browse the Library stacks?
Yes! Our capacity is currently limited to 15 patrons at a time, so you will be able to browse the stacks while social distancing from one another. Please keep to one person per aisle. If you already know what you want, call 822-6200 and our Circulation Staff can set up a Curbside Pickup. Don't know what you want? Our staff can help with that, too!
Can I use the restroom?
Yes. The Men’s and Women’s rooms are open to our patrons, but only one patron is allowed in at a time, so please knock before entering. The restrooms are cleaned regularly throughout the day. The “Children’s” restroom is now designated as the Staff Only restroom to better maintain social distancing.
Can I read the newspaper or magazines while I’m in the Library?
For health and safety purposes, there are currently no seating areas available for sitting down to read and these materials will be off-limits. If you would like to check out a back-issue of a magazine, please speak to someone at the Reference Desk and they will assist you.
Can I print, copy, and fax items?
Yes! Patrons can use the copier and printer and we can fax items for you. We have a limited number of computers available, by appointment. Please call ahead to reserve a computer at 822-9105. If you just need to print something, call the Reference Desk at 822-9105 to see if we can print it for you ahead of time and bring it out to you curbside!
Do we sanitize books?
The recommendation from the REopening Archives Libraries and Museums (REALM) Research Project is that the best way to disinfect books and paper materials is by quarantining them. We are following this recommendation and quarantining all returned materials for 24 hours before handling them. As a result, after returning an item, your account will not immediately show that it has been returned. We will backdate all returns so that overdue fines do not accrue during that 24-hour period.
Are fines being waived?
In recognition of the challenges facing Rhode Islanders, Ocean State Libraries have gone fine-free through May 31st, 2021. There will be no overdue fines on library items during this time. We do still appreciate on-time and early returns. Chances are, one of your friends or neighbors is waiting to read the same book. Speedy returns help us to serve everyone's educational, informational, and recreational needs. Please note: This period of fine forgiveness only applies to overdue fines. Replacement fees for lost items remain in effect.