Staff at Library

Welcome Back to the Library: Windsor-Severance Library Reopens After Three Months

Clearview Library District Events, News


“We’re so happy you’re open!” “It’s so great to be back.” “We’ve missed coming to the library!”

Library PatronsAs we reopened our doors to our Third Street Location on June 29, patrons shared these heartwarming sentiments with us. Behind masks, staff and patrons alike were grinning ear to ear.

“Everyone so far has been delighted to know that they can come into the library or on the bookmobile again and browse our shelves for something that will delight or inspire them,” said Director Ann Kling. “And our staff are just as happy to see our patrons again. One of our staff commented, ‘I really missed seeing people in the library for the past three months.’ I wholeheartedly agree.”

The Windsor-Severance Library had been closed to the public since March 16. While the building was shuttered, inside and at-home workspaces were a hub of activity as staff worked to serve our community in new ways, shifting services to virtual or no-contact options with programming, Ask a Geek, Staff Picks To-Go, and Library Takeout.

“Humans are social creatures and we lost our connections to people outside of our immediate family circle very rapidly in March,” Kling shared. “It was important for people in our community to have something that was familiar, whether that was an online program with a familiar voice and face, or access to reading, viewing, and listening material to keep your mind engaged while you were sheltering in place.”

Library Patrons“The Clearview staff strove to design innovative ways to cultivate curiosity, enlighten the mind and strengthen the community, which oftentimes felt isolated in a way we never had,” said Board of Trustees President Rochelle Brotsky. “A collection of pretty amazing things happened. We discovered new ways of connecting to our patrons with the help of technology and social media.

“Eventually, as people began venturing out more with the aid of social distancing and personal protective equipment, our staff found a way to safely circulate materials to our resilient community,” Brotsky continued. “Curbside check out — and check in with the use of holding materials before redistribution — proved to be quite successful. Many patrons expressed their gratitude for being able to refresh their books and movies without having to stand in lines or risk their health.”

What Has Changed?

Library PatronsWe have increased health and safety precautions in place (see sidebar), like a limited number of people in the building at one time and a mask requirement for anyone in the building ages 3 and up.

“After many discussions on safety, it was apparent that we should and could re-open in a way that was safe for staff and patrons," Kling said. We take the health and well-being of our staff and our community very seriously.”

“As the world began to cautiously re-open, the Clearview Library management thoroughly researched how other communities were approaching the possibility of welcoming patrons back into their familiar community library,” expanded Brotsky. “As with every public space, cleaning and physical barriers are high priorities.”

No-contact services will continue for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t want to discontinue Takeout at this time; we feel it is an important option for those who for one reason or another cannot come into the building,” Kling said.

In addition to safety measures, now is the time to check out books.

Library Patron“There are lots of wonderful new items waiting to be checked out,” she said. “You'll see a lot of carts loaded with books and other items.”

Moving forward, the district will continue to serve our community through this dynamic and evolving situation.

Brotsky said, “The Clearview staff, management, and Board of Trustees hope that library fans feel comfortable with the ways in which we've tried to keep our services accessible and exciting while maintaining a tolerable balance between our safety and freedoms.”

“We will monitor the status of COVID-19 in our area and make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep people safe,” Kling added. “For the time being, welcome back! It is so good to see all of you again!”

Safety Measures in Place

  • Everyone 3+ must wear a face covering the entire time and follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart from non-family members).
  • The building will be limited to 50 visitors and staff members at a time.
  • An adult needs to be with children under 14 at all times.
  • If you’re a family unit, consider limiting your group number, so more people can visit the library.
  • We ask that you keep your visit brief (under two hours) and focused on browsing materials and accessing the Internet.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the building. Disinfectant wipes are available for before / after use of our self-checkout stations and computers.
  • Materials will continue to be held for a period of time and then wiped down before being placed on the shelf.
  • Increased cleaning procedures are in place throughout the building and bookmobile.

For detailed information, visit the Library Reopening page.