Coronavirus closure and building updates

  • Curbside pickup is available 1-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 1-6 p.m. Friday.
  • We are accepting returns 24/7 in the designated drop-off sheds in the parking lot.
    (Library items will now be quarantined for 96 hours, so there may be slightly increased wait times for holds. Materials will also not show up in your account as checked in right away. Fines are not accruing during this time.)
  • The Pop-Up Library will be set up on the library plaza — weather permitting — 2-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.

*In the interest of public health, the library will  remain closed until further notice. Please check this page for updates. Click here for a list of resources to help you connect with the information and aid you may need during the Coronavirus emergency.

Click to view a copy of the library’s phased reopening plan. (Please note: This document may be updated frequently.)

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(Updated 7/20/20)

Library items will now be quarantined for four days (96 hours), so there may be slightly increased wait times for holds. Materials will also not show up in your account as checked in right away. Fines are not accruing during this time.

(Updated 6/24/20)

We are also accepting returns 24/7. Follow the parking lot signs and use the designated drop-off sheds. Just a reminder: Returned materials are quarantined so they will not show up as checked in right away. Fines will not accrue at least through August 7, at which time we will evaluate whether it may be necessary to extend the moratorium.

(Updated 6/9/20)

Click to view a copy of the New York State Safety Plan adopted by the library board of trustees Monday, June 8, 2020.

(Updated 6/5/20)

The library is scheduled to begin curbside pickups Tuesday, June 9. Click here for more information.

(Updated 6/1)

If you drive by the library these days, you may see a little more activity than in recent weeks. As the Capital Region slowly eases into reopening, we are finalizing our no-contact curbside pickup procedures – an important first step in our phased reopening plan. We’ll begin testing this process out on those who have existing holds from March, so we can fine-tune it for efficiency and safety. Once curbside pickup is fully up and running, patrons will be able to retrieve items on hold at the library Monday-Friday.

With other libraries in the Upper Hudson system operating on their own phased reopening schedules, we may not have access to all of the materials outside of our collection right away. Please keep that in mind when looking for items to place on hold, as we work with our partner libraries to do our best to fill your requests.

(Updated 5/7)

Library staff and the Board of Trustees have been busy working up a phased reopening for when state guidelines allow us to start providing in-person service to you once again. While we aren’t sure what that timeline will be, we do know the first steps will include opening up the book drops in some capacity and working toward no-contact curbside pickup. Access to the library building and programs may be limited for some time as we do all we can to safeguard public health. We also want to reassure you that we are continuing to establish rigorous sanitizing and cleaning protocols for the building and returned materials.

Just as we have made it our mission to step up our digital presence during this mandated closure, we promise to put that same energy toward engaging, educating and entertaining you as we move toward a time when we can once again be a lively community gathering space.

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In order to better serve our patrons during this closure, we have implemented the following changes: (Updated 3/15)

  1. Because we do not want our patrons to be impacted by fines and to eliminate any confusion, we are extending all due dates on all materials checked out until April 1 with the possibility of a further extension if needed.
  2. To make it easier to access our digital materials and services, those who sign up for a library card online will have an extended grace period to use the temporary login.
  3. Library cards will not expire at this time, so there is no need to worry about when or how to renew while the library is closed.

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A message from Library Director Geoffrey Kirkpatrick (3/13):

As of 5 p.m. Friday (3/13), Bethlehem Public Library is closed at least until the end of March.  This was a difficult but necessary decision to safeguard public health, and we will continue to reevaluate the situation and decide when it is appropriate to reopen the library.

We would like to reassure you that in the meantime, fines will not accrue while we are closed. Items will not be due until we reopen.

Library staff will continue to work for you.  We are planning to answer questions by email and Facebook.

We are evaluating what services we can provide in the meantime.

Be safe and take care of each other.

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In response to the widening Novel Coronavirus situation, we are canceling all programs and meetings at the library until further notice. (Updated 3/12)

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Interlibrary loan (ILL) book and microfilm requests are not available at this time. This is only for items borrowed through ILL outside of UHLS. Standard hold requests from other libraries within UHLS service area will be filled. (Updated 3/12)

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Please note that in the interest of your health and safety, we have proactively cleaned and removed the toys in the Children’s Place until further notice. (Updated 3/10)

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The library’s Sensory Playtime and Family Playtime have been canceled for the time being.  (Updated 3/10)

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In order to mitigate exposure to the virus, the library is encouraging patrons to:

    • Avoid public gathering spaces, such as the library, if you feel unwell.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available at the Information Desk and other locations throughout the library.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, sneeze into a tissue and throw the tissue into the trash or sneeze into your sleeve (elbow) if a tissue is not available.

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