Jones Library Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, May 1, 2020

Jones Library staff have been fielding questions about how patrons can access the Library’s physical collection.

While we agree COMPLETELY that access to reading material is essential to influencing our quality of life, at the present time it is the job of public libraries across the state to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and to support Governor Baker’s stay-at-home order, which has now been extended to May 18, 2020. The more that people come into contact with other people (and with high-touch surfaces), the higher the risk, thus our priority must be to encourage staff and patrons to stay safe at home.

In the meantime, if you have access to a device and the Internet, we encourage you to make use of our electronic resources such as:

You can also:

And if you call or email us, we can:

All for free!

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see what we are up to. We are also posting our programs to our event calendar found on the Library's website at

When the time is right, the Library will re-open for business. Staff are SUPER excited about being able to get back into the buildings and being with their patrons! But when it is time for re-entry, it will have to occur in a phased manner. The American Library Association, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and Massachusetts Library System are all working with experts on the safest ways for libraries to reopen. The Jones Library will follow the science; the phases may look like this:

  • First, we imagine that STAFF only will come back to the buildings. They will work in staggered shifts, they will wear masks and gloves, and remain socially distant.
  • Next, the return of MATERIALS will begin. We will keep them in quarantine for at least three days, before returning them to the shelves.
  • At some point, curbside pickup will begin. Patrons will place Holds online or by phone, then staff will check out the items, and bring them outside to patrons.
  • When it is safe, patrons will return to the inside of the buildings. We envision limiting the number of patrons in the buildings at once; having plexiglass shields at the service desks; not allowing computers or in-person programming right away; and constant disinfection of surfaces and bathrooms. We are also considering having separate open hours for vulnerable populations.
  • Eventually, the use of computers and meeting rooms will be allowed, as well as in-person public programming.
At this time, we have no idea what the timeline for this phased approach would be.

Thank you so much for your support! We look forward to seeing you in person soon!

Best always,

Sharon Sharry, Library Director, The Jones Library