Library Director Sara Slymon is proud to announce that the Public Library of Brookline is making a wide range of resources available to members online, including virtual access to reference librarians, while its facilities are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Remote services will go live at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, and will include a variety of digital versions of beloved library programs, including virtual storytimes craft-along activities and more. In addition, members will have the opportunity to connect with the library’s reference staff via chat and email.
For a full list of digital resources available on the library’s website, including ebooks, movies, music, databases and more, click here.
“There’s nothing we would love more than to be able to return to the libraries and work directly with all of the patrons who rely on our services,” Slymon said. “While we can’t be physically present just yet, we want residents to know that the library is still here as a resource for them and that we’re available to assist in any way we can as we continue to do our part to help bring an end to the COVID-19 emergency by staying home and slowing the spread.”
Staff have been working throughout the early part of the closure to prepare delivery of the remote services the library is announcing today. Library staff will be available to patrons remotely from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, for the duration of the closure.
Reference staff will be available during these hours to address patron questions directly related to the library, but will unfortunately not have access to certain resources only accessible on-site — microfilm, closed stacks and certain other reference materials.
Patrons can chat directly with staff during business hours by using the chat icon in the lower right hand corner of the library homepage, brooklinelibrary.org.
Register for a Card Online
The library’s online resources are free for Brookline residents. To apply for a library card, which provides access to the entire Minuteman Library Network, click here.
Upon completing the application, residents will receive a temporary library card number that will allow them to use the MLN and PLB’s digital catalogs, and official cards can be picked up after the library re-opens.
Beginning Friday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m., and again every Tuesday and Friday at the same time, the library will host virtual storytimes via Facebook Live.
Reminders About the Closure
The Public Library of Brookline is closed as a precaution, in accordance with local, state and federal public health guidelines, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Libraries will remain closed as long as schools are closed, which will be at least through the end of April following an announcement today by Governor Charlie Baker.
The PLB has extended due dates, expiration dates for holds, and expiration dates for library cards so that accounts will not be impacted by the closure.
Patrons are asked not to return materials at this time. There will be no penalties for late returns, and residents are asked to adhere to the social distancing protocols recommended by public health officials.
Town of Brookline Call Center Available for COVID-19 Questions
For non-medical questions related to COVID-19 and its impact on daily life in Brookline, community members are encouraged to call the Brookline COVID-19 call center at 617-879-5636. In addition, information is posted regularly on the town website dedicated to the emergency, BrooklineCOVID19.com.