ACLS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Updated January 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM
Library Openings have been POSTPONED
The reopening of the Allegany County Library System libraries has been POSTPONED due to the surge of COVID-19 cases within the community. Library staff and administration will be monitoring local metrics closely to determine a new date to reopen the libraries.
We currently in Phase III of the library’s reopening plan.
- Sidwalk Pick-up Service is available Monday- Thursday 2:30-5:00 PM Learn more here.
- All Allegany County Library System buildings will be closed to the public until further notice.
- 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 5 days after returned from the drop. Please expect to see these items appear as checked-out to you for at least 120 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 III 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, additional virtual and outdoor events, and sidewalk service.
- 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 STAR Card Request form to request their child’s STAR Card number for students to access online resources and sidewalk service. Please send us your child’s full name and birth date.
- All inside library events, programs, and outreach are cancelled 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
Because we know the COVID-19 virus is still present in our communities, we are taking a cautious 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. 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.
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.
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.
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