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LIBRARY CLOSURE

Last updated: July 28, 2020


On May 28, 2020, the Library Board approved a phased reopening plan. (Download the plan here - updated July 28, 2020)

Curbside pickup of physical materials is now available!


As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Alexandria Library is committed to keeping both customers and staff safe and healthy.

Effective immediately the Alexandria Library will be closed until further notice.

This was a difficult decision to make as we know how much people rely on their libraries to support their educational, entertainment, and recreational needs. However, libraries are a hub of community activity with some branches drawing hundreds of visitors per day. With the CDC and the Governor recommending gatherings of no more than 10 people, and with ACPS schools closed, the best course of action was to close all libraries for a period of time.

Although library branches are closed, some staff will be on site to support phone and virtual reference Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Volunteers are asked not to report during the closure.

 
Some additional specifics include:

  • In addition to live phone support, online chat service will be available Monday through Friday 8am to 11pm, Saturday 9am to 9pm, and Sunday 12pm – 9pm.
  • Reference service is also available via Ask a Librarian on our website.
  • All in-person library-sponsored programs are cancelled until further notice.  For online programs please see our virtual branch page.
  • All meeting room bookings are cancelled until further notice.
  • All due dates on physical items you currently have checked out will be extended until the library opens. Please feel free to keep those items for now; however, the book drops will remain open for your convenience.
  • If items were overdue prior to March 16, fines will apply.
  • Holds will be suspended and unavailable.
  • No new interlibrary loan requests will be processed; customers should keep any loans currently in their possession until the library reopens.
  • No donated materials will be accepted until further notice.
  • WiFi will continue during the library’s normal operating hours and can be accessed in the parking lots.
  • The Talking Books service will continue to provide materials via mail to blind and physically handicapped customers

While libraries are closed, you’ll still find plenty of resources available in our online catalog with eBooks, eAudiobooks, and other digital resources – including free training, streaming music, periodicals, and research databases. In addition, library staff will be working on providing additional online services including virtual events and videos.


We apologize for any inconvenience library closures might cause, but we thank you for your patience and always appreciate your support. We regret closing our doors but believe this is the most responsible course of action as we encourage customers and staff to use best practices that will shorten the run of COVID-19 in Alexandria.


We know that Alexandria’s library is a valued resource for so many readers and supporters. We want to resume full operations as quickly and safely as possible. To that end, we’ll work closely with the Alexandria City government and health department. The Library Board will revisit this decision and will keep you informed of any changes. We look forward to welcoming everyone back when we reopen.


Please check this page and social media for real-time updates on what we’re doing as this public health situation continues.



 

ONLINE RESOURCES


• Checkout an eBook or eAudiobook from Overdrive/Libby.

Read a magazine using RBdigital, a free service that offers full digital copies of your favorite magazines to view on a computer or mobile device.

Search databases for articles and information for you or your students, who may be home from school.

• Use Heritage Quest from home to work on that genealogy project you've been putting off.

• Expand your music collection by downloading music from Freegal. You can also stream up to 3 hours of music each day.

• Ask a librarian a question via email or request a Book Match if you need some suggestions on what to read.

• Learn a new language with Mango or Rocket Languages.

Take an online class to learn something new!

• You can build your resume and get career help with Career Transitions.

• Grow your Google skills with Grow with Google classes online.

• Use the Gardening and Horticulture database to get information for planting your garden.

• Cook up some new recipes from the AtoZ World Food database.

• Do legal research with Lexis Nexis. Use this special link to register with Lexis Nexis and get a temporary ID (expires July 31, 2020) to conduct research on the cases, codes, and secondary resources needed for legal work and personal legal research. 

• Kids need something to do? Check out this list of free, online resources curated by our Youth Services Librarians.

• Trying to search for grants from home? You can access Candid’s Foundation Directory Online with this link.

• Have questions about any of the digital services? Email the Digital Services Librarian.

 



 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


How long will the library remain closed?
We are planning to remain closed until further notice. At that time, we will determine whether it is safe to reopen or if we need to extend the closure. We will continue to work with the Alexandria City government and Alexandria Health Department to ensure the safety of customers and residents.

Are you doing this because someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 came to the library?
No. So far as we are aware, no one with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has visited the library.

I have a library item already checked out - how will I return it?
We are extending all returns until the library reopens. Book return bins will remain open but we encourage you to keep the books until the Library reopens. Overdue fines are waived during this time.

Will you be cleaning your books, CDs, and other materials during this time?
Not at this time. However, our staff is using gloves to handle materials, and we are encouraging all our customers to wipe down and disinfect their materials before returning them. Here is what the CDC says about transmission of COVID-19.

Will I still be able to access your eBooks, eAudiobooks, and other digital items?
Yes, our full digital catalog, and all online resources, will remain available for use. Additional materials have been added to increase our offerings during the closure.

Can I place holds on physical items?
Yes.  Starting on June 18, customers can now add new holds to physical items.  Please use curbside pick-up to obtain these materials.

I have a hold placed on an item - will it be canceled?
Holds for digital materials (eBooks, eAudiobooks, etc.) will continue unchanged. 

Can I still get books to keep me sane during the closure?
You can still access a wide array of digital books, music, and periodicals through Overdrive, Freegal, RBDigital, and our other online resources.

I don’t have a library card — can I get one online during the closure?
Yes. We’ll continue to process library card registrations received online. Getting a free card only takes a few minutes. We are extending the expiration of these temporary cards to six weeks to allow customers to utilize online resources without coming to the library to collect their physical card.

Does this mean All Alexandria Reads is cancelled?
All Alexandria Library programming, community outreach events, books sales and meeting room reservations remain suspended until further notice. At this time, some All Alexandria Reads programming will be converted to virtual events. Please see the events calendar for more information.

Will all library locations open back up, or will you open a few at a time?
At this time, our plan is to reopen all of our locations. If it becomes necessary to change that strategy because of the ongoing pandemic, we’ll communicate to customers, supporters, and news media as quickly as possible.

If I have additional questions, how do I contact you?
Please use our Contact Us forms.

You can continue to support Alexandria Library with donations through the Alexandria Library Foundation. Learn more at https://alexlibraryva.org/library-foundation.

 

Virtual Events
Wed, Aug 05, 10:30am - 11:30am
This class is for all levels but will cater particularly toward beginners. Vocabulary drills and pronunciation are emphasized. This will be a weekly class.Register

Wed, Aug 05, 10:30am - 11:10am
Join Ms. Eli from her home for this virtual Spanish-English storytime. Sing songs and she'll read a book or two. Intended for ages 2 to 4, but all children and families are welcome to join in!Register

Wed, Aug 05, 11:00am - 11:45am
Join Miss Lisa for virtual yoga adventures! A single pre-registration is required for this series. This program will also be offered on Tuesdays at 4PM, which will require a separate registration.Register

Wed, Aug 05, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Join us for Dr. Jennifer N. Victor's virtual lecture, "How did face masks become a partisan symbol?, and other questions you didn’t learn in school."Register

Wed, Aug 05, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
ScienceTellers has been providing children and their families with fun, experiential science education through the art of interactive storytelling.

Wed, Aug 05, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Ousman Jobe, U.S. Public Policy Senior Manager for LinkedIn, will explain how to optimally use the social media business platform to find your next job and advance your career. Register

Wed, Aug 05, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Learn about the many electronic resources, including e-books and e-audiobooks, available through the library.Register

Wed, Aug 05, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Virtual Pajama Story Time
Join us for a collection of themed stories to enjoy in your favorite pajamas with your favorite librarians! Register

Wed, Aug 05, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutchings and Georgetown Professor Dr. Douglas Reed as they unpack structural racism throughout the history of Alexandria’s education system. Register

Wed, Aug 05, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Attention all handcrafters! Join us to share what you are working on, see what others are creating, and just chat while we craft together!

Thu, Aug 06, 10:00am - 11:00am
Learn about online privacy, your information footprint and get some resources for managing your online presence.Register

Thu, Aug 06, 10:30am - 11:15am
Join Andrés and Christina for this live-stream dancing, music and learning program! For children of all ages!Register

Thu, Aug 06, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Attention all handcrafters! Join us to share what you are working on, see what others are creating, and just chat while we craft together!

Thu, Aug 06, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Miss Christian each week to hear a new story and sing songs. Registration is required.Register

Thu, Aug 06, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
The Afternoon Book Discussion Group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 1:30 PM. All are welcome! Register

Thu, Aug 06, 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Join us to learn about even more animals and see them up close with Wildlife Ambassadors! If you caught our first show, the animals at this program will be new! All ages.

Thu, Aug 06, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Thu, Aug 06, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Join us for a virtual discussion of the following two stories: -"The Gay Old Dog" by Edna Ferber (1917) -"Brothers" by Sherwood Anderson (1921) Register

Thu, Aug 06, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join us for a virtual Knit Nite meet-up! Get help with your knitting projects or just chat with your friends and knitting volunteers. Ages 8-18. Registration requiredRegister

Sun, Aug 09, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Many people have started reading books on the subject of race in the United States. This club aims to unite individuals to discuss these works and the themes they contain. This club is for all people.Register

Mon, Aug 10, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Interested in building your confidence in your use of English?Register

Mon, Aug 10, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Every Monday in August, join others as you play your way through this story-based board game as the hero. Ages 9-14. Registration required.Register

Mon, Aug 10, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join Let's Talk Books book discussion club to read and discuss "Hamilton: The Revolution" by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter.Register

Mon, Aug 10, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Please join us for a virtual discussion of Octavia E. Butler's science fiction "Kindred".

Mon, Aug 10, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Friends of Duncan Library's monthly board meeting will take place virtually this month using Zoom. Register

Tue, Aug 11, 11:00am - 11:45am
Come to Miss Lisa's house for stories, songs and lots of interactive fun!Register

Tue, Aug 11, 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Join Chris Fascione for juggling, jokes, stories, and more! Best for ages 6-12

Tue, Aug 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Volunteers from the Energy Masters program will lead a virtual discussion on simple and inexpensive ways you can reduce water and energy consumption in your home or apartment.Register

Tue, Aug 11, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Author Lawrence Roberts joins us virtually via Zoom to discuss his new book "Mayday 1971: A White House at War, a Revolt in the Streets, and the Untold History of America’s Biggest Mass Arrest." Register

Tue, Aug 11, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join us for a book club with beer. Contact rrasby@alexlibraryva.org for more information.Register

Wed, Aug 12, 10:30am - 11:30am
This class is for all levels but will cater particularly toward beginners. Vocabulary drills and pronunciation are emphasized. This will be a weekly class.Register

Wed, Aug 12, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Join us to practice your English language skills with others in an informal environment! All ages welcome!Register

Wed, Aug 12, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Learn how to use Ancestry Library Edition to uncover your history.Register

Wed, Aug 12, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Virtual Pajama Story Time
Join us for a collection of themed stories to enjoy in your favorite pajamas with your favorite librarians! Register

Wed, Aug 12, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Retired Ambassador Elam-Thomas talks about her career, the importance of diversity in diplomacy, and what steps the State Department should take to diversify American representation around the world.Register

Thu, Aug 13, 10:00am - 11:00am
Instead of ripping articles out of magazines and scrawling notes all over them, let Evernote help you organize web and original content. Register

Thu, Aug 13, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Miss Christian each week to hear a new story and sing songs. Registration is required.Register

Thu, Aug 13, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Join us for a virtual edition of our monthly Mystery Book Club. Register

Thu, Aug 13, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Thu, Aug 13, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Matt Harris discusses his experiences on the Human Rights commission, his personal observations on race relations in Alexandria, and thoughts on how to knit our community together.Register

Thu, Aug 13, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join us for a virtual Knit Nite meet-up! Get help with your knitting projects or just chat with your friends and knitting volunteers. Ages 8-18. Registration requiredRegister

Sat, Aug 15, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Change up your summer table and up the nutritional content of each bite! Register

Sat, Aug 15, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Death Cafes are an opportunity to demystify the death experience. We offer an open, safe environment for discussing thoughts, feelings about all manner death and dying. Register

Mon, Aug 17, 11:00am - 11:30am
Welcome to Virtual Baby Time, now available on Zoom! Join Miss Venetta Mondays at 11AM! Register

Mon, Aug 17, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Interested in building your confidence in your use of English?Register

Mon, Aug 17, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Every Monday in August, join others as you play your way through this story-based board game as the hero. Ages 9-14. Registration required.Register

Mon, Aug 17, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Author Mike O'Brien will discuss his award-winning book, "We Shall Not Be Moved: the Jackson Woolworth's Sit-in and the Movement it Inspired".Register

Tue, Aug 18, 10:00am - 10:30am
Join us on Tuesdays at 10 AM for virtual Stories and Songs! Register

Tue, Aug 18, 11:00am - 11:45am
Come to Miss Lisa's house for stories, songs and lots of interactive fun!Register

Tue, Aug 18, 4:00pm - 4:30pm
We will be exploring the themes of Equality, Justice and Inclusion featuring "Woke: a young poet's call to Justice"Register

Tue, Aug 18, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Join an IT professional on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month to do a short group activity, ask your coding questions, and share your coding progress. Ages 8-14. Registration required. Register

Wed, Aug 19, 10:30am - 11:30am
This class is for all levels but will cater particularly toward beginners. Vocabulary drills and pronunciation are emphasized. This will be a weekly class.Register

Wed, Aug 19, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Learn the science behind cold process soap, see the process, learn where to get materials, and ask questions.Register

Wed, Aug 19, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Virtual Pajama Story Time
Join us for a collection of themed stories to enjoy in your favorite pajamas with your favorite librarians! Register

Wed, Aug 19, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Duncan Book Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Register

Wed, Aug 19, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Learn about our notable namesake of the Queen Street Library: humanitarian, reformer and suffragette! Presented by Patricia Walker of Local History/Special Collections.Register

Thu, Aug 20, 10:00am - 11:00am
Learn about this online learning platform and how to take classes for free!Register

Thu, Aug 20, 10:00am - 10:30am
Join Miss Katie on Thursday Mornings at 10 AM for virtual Toddler Rock N' Read! Register

Thu, Aug 20, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Miss Christian each week to hear a new story and sing songs. Registration is required.Register

Thu, Aug 20, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Marilynne Robinson returns 24 years after her novel "Housekeeping" with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the 20th Century.Register

Thu, Aug 20, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Thu, Aug 20, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join us for a virtual Knit Nite meet-up! Get help with your knitting projects or just chat with your friends and knitting volunteers. Ages 8-18. Registration requiredRegister