COVID-19 & Your Libraries: FaQ

UPDATED: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 & Your Libraries


How is COVID-19 affecting the libraries?

The library was ordered to close and cease all onsite operations, including materials check-out, on March 16. We moved as much programming and resources as possible online (see below for more). Starting June 15, the libraries have begun offering curbside pickup. You can also now return your items to our book drops, though you can not enter the building.

 This crisis will affect the library financially. Key sources of income including room rental fees, DVD and video game rental fees, sales of snacks, printing pages and faxes, and donations made onsite during programs and at the circulation desk have fallen to zero while the buildings are closed. New software for webinars and virtual meetings and increased spending on electronic materials is necessary.

In total, we face a combined loss and increase in expenses of about $5,000 each month.  And, since the libraries will reopen gradually, we know that these financial challenges will continue. To help the library with loss of income and increased expenses during this time, please make a donation.

What are the libraries doing to help the community?

Immediately upon closing, librarians worked hard to make as much about the library as possible available virtually. Programs for children, adults, teens and seniors take place every day on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Live (Social Media accounts here), and via webinar software. Reference librarians are available via email and through online chat.  Community members are able to connect with one another and librarians in program chats, in the Discord chat room, and on our social media pages. Our hope is that our virtual “library at your place” provides escape, pleasure, learning, and connection – things our community desperately needs during this time.

Though we are working in the building with only a skeleton crew, we are doing our best to process holds, quarantine & check in returns, add new books & provide our remote services. We appreciate your patience as we learn these new processes.

What is the library doing to help its staff?

Our staff are employed by Tredyffrin Township. Many are working from home to provide online programming. Those whose jobs can only be completed inside the building were paid through April 15, and are now on furlough, per decision by the Township. This allows our staff to collect unemployment, and the township is supporting them in this effort. These staff members are pre-qualified for reinstatement to meet staffing needs when our buildings reopen.

Currently, the full-time staff and only a few part-time staff members are maintaining all the onsite & virtual programming.

How do I return books?

You may use the parking lot book drops at Tredyffrin Public Library and the outdoor book drop at Paoli Library. Please be aware that all returned items are being brought into quarantine & will not be checked in for a few days. You will continue to see these items on your account until they are released from quarantine to be checked in. We assure you, you will not be charged overdue fees on these items.

How do I pick up books?

When your reserved materials become available, you will be able to schedule your pickup. Follow the steps as described here. Please be aware that the instructions you may see in the email from ccls may have different instructions. All the libraries are using different procedures.

Items will be bagged in paper bags, listed with your first initial and last name. You will find them on shelves outside the main entrances of the library during the 15 minute period of your pickup.


When will the libraries reopen?

We have not received information on reopening from the Governor or the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, so our buildings are closed to the public indefinitely. We will offer more information as it becomes available. Please expect our reopening to be gradual and in accordance to guidelines provided by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.


How can I help?

Your financial support will help us both to weather the decreases in revenue and to continue to invest in the tools and resources necessary to offer the most engaging and inspiring virtual library possible. Please visit our Support page to make a donation to Tredyffrin Public Library or Paoli Library, or to the Foundation, which holds funds in an endowment. The full amount of your gift will be deposited for use as you direct. Your investment now will also ensure that building maintenance and program supplies and collections materials purchases can continue as normal.

Also, please continue to participate in our virtual programs and share with friends, neighbors and family members the value you find in the library, both before the pandemic and during this time. You can see all of our offerings on our Virtual Calendar. While the “new normal” is in place, Tredyffrin Public Library and Paoli Library will be at the center, with new opportunities to interact with our patrons and the same welcoming space to explore interests, connect with friends and neighbors and share the joy of learning.

I have books to donate for your book sale. Where can I drop them?

For the safety of our staff, we cannot accept any donations at this time, so please keep your donations at home until our buildings reopen and we announce that we can begin accepting donations.  

Will planned fall events like the book sale and the golf outing happen?

We will continue to adhere to guidance and requirements from Governor Wolf and from the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries.  These events have not been cancelled at this time.  Please find up-to-date information in our weekly newsletter, AdLib, and on our website.