ACLS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Updated June 30 12:30 PM
- All Allegany County Library System libraries will be closed until further notice.
- Outdoor story times are planned for parks throughout the county this summer. Learn more here.
- All library book drops are now OPEN (with the exception of the LaVale Library’s drop)
- Please remove items from bags and containers before placing in the drop.
- Items will be quarantined for 3 days after returned from the drop. Please expect to see these items appear as checked-out to you for at lease 72 hours after you have placed them in the drop.
- The library will NOT be accepting donations at this time.
- Reopening plans have been established by the library and approved by the Library Board of Trustees.
- The reopening plan consists of six (6) phases to fully reopen based on guidelines from the Allegany County Health Department, the State of Maryland, the CDC, and other library systems in the region.
- Phase II is in motion: deep cleaning and disinfecting of library facilities, the gathering of necessary supplies and equipment, staff entry into library buildings, the reopening of book drops, and additional virtual and outdoor events.
- Subsequent phases of the plan include establishing sidewalk pickup services, additional online events, and eventually reopening to the public.
- Similar to the State of Maryland’s multi-phase Road to Recovery plan, the library’s phased plan to re-open will progress in accordance with the safety and health guidelines set by the State and ongoing assessments of library staffing, facilities, resources, and supplies.
- Due to the timing of the state of emergency, the LaVale Library will not reopen prior to its scheduled renovation.
- Any fines accrued after March 13 will be waived until further notice.
- Online Registration is now available for new users to access online services.
- ALL fine related account blocks have been temporarily removed to allow access to eBooks and other digital resources.
- Parents and guardians can use the Contact Us form to request their child’s STAR Card number for students to access online resources. Please send us your child’s full name and birth date.
- All inside library events, programs, and outreach are cancelled until further notice.
- Interlibrary Loan (MARINA) has been suspended until further notice.
- We have created a Frequently Asked Questions page to answer some of the most common questions during this time.
Plans to Reopen Community Libraries
Governor Hogan has moved the State of Maryland to the “low impact” phase in the Road to Recovery plan. This means libraries have been given the greenlight to begin reopening. Because we know the COVID-19 virus may still be present in our communities, we are taking a “yellow light” approach to ensure we are equipped with the necessary supplies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of library patrons and staff.
The Library Board of Trustees adopted a reopening plan at Tuesday’s regular Board meeting. Library Director John Taube said “the Board’s primary motivation in adopting this plan is maintaining the safety of library patrons and staff while finding ways to provide necessary services that the library is uniquely positioned to perform.”
The reopening plan consists of six (6) phases toward fully reopening and is based on the planning and guidelines from the Allegany County Health Department, the State of Maryland, the CDC, and other library systems in the region. Taube continued “our staff have been yearning to come back to work and see their friends and neighbors and find new ways to provide the important services the community has come to know and love.“
Similar to the State of Maryland’s multi-phase Road to Recovery plan, the library’s phased plan to re-open will progress in accordance with the safety and health guidelines set by the State and ongoing assessments of library staffing, facilities, resources, and supplies.
Phase I of the plan is already in motion: the deep cleaning and disinfecting of library facilities. Cleaning services at all the libraries have increased and have been occurring throughout our closure.
In subsequent phases of the plan, the library will reopen book drops, establish a sidewalk pickup service, add additional online events, and eventually reopen to the public.
Unfortunately, due to the timing of the state of emergency, we will not be reopening the LaVale Library prior to its long awaited renovation and expansion scheduled to start in mid-summer. News and updates on the renovation as well as the reopening plans will be announced on the Library’s website, social media channels, and in the local media outlets.
The library will continue to post its operating hours and other developments on the progress of the reopening plan on this page and social media pages.
During this challenging time, the Allegany County Library System is committed to ensuring the health and safety to our patrons, staff, and community.
We recognize how valuable our libraries are to the community as a safe space for access, learning, and enrichment. While we take great pride in offering these services, we find it is important to close our doors at this time to protect the health and safety of our staff, patrons, and community.
All fine related blocks on library accounts have been temporarily removed to allow access to online resources during this time of emergency.
No fines will be charged during this closure. Bookdrops will close in accordance with the state closure of all but essential services. Please keep the items you have until the library reopens. Please do not leave items outside the library.
Library officials will continue to monitor the rapidly changing health crisis in the coming days and weeks, and we will respond accordingly.
Thanks to our recent software upgrade, your library materials will automatically be renewed two (2) times as long as an item does not have a hold.
We encourage you to check out the library’s many online materials that can be downloaded or streamed directly on your devices including eBooks, audiobooks, television shows, movies, music, newspapers and magazines.
ALL fine related blocks on library accounts have been temporarily removed to allow access to digital resources during this emergency.
Public Health Recommendations
Keep Yourself and Your Community Healthy
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or your upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Discard used tissues immediately.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer that is 60–90% alcohol-based.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing. Try to keep an optimal six-foot distance from other people.
- Stay home if you are not feeling well or experiencing flu-like symptoms. Contact your doctor.
Health Information and Resources
To get the latest updates, go to the CDC CoronaVirus webpage
- CDC: What you need to know Fact Sheet – English, Spanish, Chinese
- CDC: What to do if you are sick Fact Sheet – English, Spanish, Chinese
The Allegany County Health Department has set up a call center for questions related to Coronavirus for patients, clients, members of the public. Please call 301-759-5000 Monday- Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Maryland State Library Resource Center – Coronavirus COVID-19: Links You Can Trust