As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Alexandria Library is committed to keeping both customers and staff safe and healthy. Effective Wednesday, March 18, all Alexandria Library facilities will be closed and outreach services will be suspended through Tuesday, March 31.
This was a difficult decision to make as we know how much people rely on their libraries to support their educational, entertainment, and recreational needs. However, libraries are a hub of community activity with some branches drawing hundreds of visitors per day. With the CDC and the Governor recommending gatherings of no more than 10 people, and with ACPS schools closed through April 13, the best course of action was to close all libraries for a period of time.
Although library branches are closed, some staff will be on site to support phone and virtual reference Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Volunteers are asked not to report during the closure.
Some additional specifics include:
- In addition to live phone support, online chat service will be available Monday through Friday 8am to 11pm, Saturday 9am to 9pm, and Sunday 12pm – 9pm.
- Reference service is also available via Ask a Librarian on our website.
- All library-sponsored programs are cancelled through March 31.
- All meeting room bookings are cancelled through March 31.
- All due dates on physical items you currently have checked out will be extended by 30 days. Please feel free to keep those items for now; however, the book drops will remain open for your convenience.
- Overdue fines will be waived.
- Holds will be suspended and unavailable.
- No new interlibrary loan requests will be processed; customers should keep any loans currently in their possession until the library reopens.
- No donated materials will be accepted through March 31.
- WiFi will continue during the library’s normal operating hours and can be accessed in the parking lots.
- The Talking Books service will continue to provide materials via mail to blind and physically handicapped customers.
While libraries are closed, you’ll still find plenty of resources available in our online catalog with eBooks, eAudiobooks, and other digital resources – including free training, streaming music, periodicals, and research databases. In addition, library staff will be working on providing additional online services including technology training and story hours through our Youtube channel. Please also see this list of available services
and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We apologize for any inconvenience library closures might cause, but we thank you for your patience and always appreciate your support. We regret closing our doors but believe this is the most responsible course of action as we encourage customers and staff to use best practices that will shorten the run of COVID-19 in Alexandria.
We know that Alexandria’s library is a valued resource for so many readers and supporters. We want to resume full operations as quickly and safely as possible. To that end, we’ll work closely with the Alexandria City government and health department. The Library Board will revisit this decision and will keep you informed of any changes. We look forward to welcoming everyone back when we reopen.
Please check alexlibraryva.org
and social media for real-time updates on what we’re doing as this public health situation continues.