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LIBRARY CLOSURE

Last updated: June 18, 2020


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

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 May 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
Thu, Jul 09, 10:00am - 10:45am
This class will introduce you to Overdrive & Libby, help you create an account, and get you started reading or listening.Register

Thu, Jul 09, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Ms. Suzanne as we explore what's outside her window, share a story and sing some songs. She's got tomatoes on the vine and there have been a lot of visitors to the bird feeder this week!

Thu, Jul 09, 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!
Registration is now closed

Thu, Jul 09, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Join us for a virtual edition of our monthly Mystery Book Club to discuss "Down the River Unto the Sea" by Walter Mosley. Register

Thu, Jul 09, 4:00pm - 4:45pm
You get the best seat in the house (literally) to rock out with Rocknoceros! Musical fun for the whole family.Register

Thu, Jul 09, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Rescheduled
Thu, Jul 09, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
New date Monday, July 06, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Do you hate to budget? Do you hate tracking every single expense every single day for every single account you have? Isn't there an easier way??? Yes, there is.

Fri, Jul 10, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Groovy Nate creates fun and educational shows using exotic musical instruments, interactive movement, and puppet skits. Register

Sat, Jul 11, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Part two of a three-part series focused on understanding the financial services industry.Register

Sat, Jul 11, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Join Music of Asian America Research Center's Eric Hung and Nancy Yunhwa Rao for a program on Asian American entertainment during the Exclusion Era. Register

Sun, Jul 12, 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, Jul 13, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Interested in building your confidence in your use of English? Register

Mon, Jul 13, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Can you pass this divination class? Use your skills to uncover phrases, places and objects found throughout the wizarding world. Recommended for Tweens and Teens! Register

Mon, Jul 13, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Please join us online to discuss "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton. Register

Mon, Jul 13, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Friends of Duncan Library's monthly board meeting will take place virtually this month using Zoom. Register

Mon, Jul 13, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Please join us for a virtual discussion of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" by Katherine Boo.

Tue, Jul 14, 10:00am - 10:45am
Did you know you have access to magazines and music with your library card? Join us to find out how to get started with these library services.Register

Tue, Jul 14, 11:00am - 11:45am
Come to Miss Lisa's house for stories, songs and lots of interactive fun!Register

Tue, Jul 14, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Learn the basics of Medicare coverage (Part A, B, C, D and Medigap) and choices. This presentation is given by Medicare counselors from the Division of Aging and Adult Services.  Register

Tue, Jul 14, 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Join Under the Sea to learn more about the creatures of our oceans and bays and see them up close! All ages.

Tue, Jul 14, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Local author Paul Dickson joins us virtually to discuss his new book, "The Rise of the G.I. Army, 1940-194: The Forgotten Story of How America Forged a Powerful Army Before Pearl Harbor"Register

Tue, Jul 14, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Join us for a book club with beer. Contact kdow@alexlibraryva.org or 703-746-1751 for more information.Register

Tue, Jul 14, 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!

Wed, Jul 15, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Hilarious magical fun with the DMV's favorite pre-school magician!

Wed, Jul 15, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Join us to practice your English language skills with others in an informal environment! All levels welcome!Register

Wed, Jul 15, 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, Jul 15, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Duncan Book Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Register

Thu, Jul 16, 10:00am - 10:45am
Design presentations, social media graphics, and more with thousands of beautiful layouts.Register

Thu, Jul 16, 10:30am - 11:00am
Join Ms. Suzanne as we explore what's outside her window, share a story and sing some songs. Lots of flowers to look at and some herbs, too!

Thu, Jul 16, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Miss Christian each week to hear a new story and sing songs. Registration is required.Register

Thu, Jul 16, 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, Jul 16, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
If you've ever had a question about sharks, you'll definitely want to join us for this special question and answer session with scientists from the National Aquarium. All ages. Registration required.

Thu, Jul 16, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
We are taking our monthly book club discussion online. Join us for a critical discussion of Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845. Register

Thu, Jul 16, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology professor sits with Port City Brewery's quality manager to discuss the science of beer in this "fireside" chat.Register

Thu, Jul 16, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Thu, Jul 16, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Open your eyes to all of the wonders hidden in the wetlands of Virginia as Rainbow Puppet Productions presents “The Wondrous Wetland Review.”Register

Thu, Jul 16, 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, Jul 18, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Change up your summer table and up the nutritional content of each bite! Register

Sat, Jul 18, 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, Jul 20, 11:00am - 11:30am
Children will enjoy bopping along to Williebob and Boogie Bennie's catchy tunes. All ages.

Mon, Jul 20, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Get to know the plants and animals in your own backyard, and learn strategies for nurturing a habitat for wild neighbors while creating a garden that's pleasing to the humans in your community, too!Register

Mon, Jul 20, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Interested in building your confidence in your use of English? Register

Mon, Jul 20, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Can your house outsmart the professors? Face your greatest challenge yet in your quest to become the house champion. Recommended for Tweens and TeensRegister

Mon, Jul 20, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Learn about buying and selling homes from the process experts.  Valuable for first time buyers or previous home owners.Register

Tue, Jul 21, 10:00am - 10:45am
Just like etiquette is a code of polite behavior in society, netiquette is a code of good behavior on the Internet.Register

Tue, Jul 21, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Join the award-winning Rainbow Puppets as they share “Terrific Tales.” Register

Tue, Jul 21, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Join us for a virtual presentation of Professor Patrice Winter's program "Aging in Place: Do Not Blame the House." Register

Tue, Jul 21, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join Miss Lisa for virtual yoga adventures! A single pre-registration is required for this series. This program will repeat on Wednesdays at 11, which will require a separate registration.Register

Tue, Jul 21, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Virginian author, and Virginia Tech professor, Dan Thorp discusses his research into the Scotch Irish and German family migration through Virginia during the 18th century.Register

Tue, Jul 21, 7:30pm - 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, Jul 22, 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, Jul 22, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Learn how to discover new job opportunities using Google Search and organize your job search experience using G Suite tools. Register

Wed, Jul 22, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Sing along with Susannah! This popular local children's musicians will bring you traditional and her own original songs in this Zoom concert. Pre-registration is required.Register

Wed, Jul 22, 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, Jul 22, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Public Prosecutor Bryan Porter gives a talk on his book, "The Parable of the Knocker." Register

Thu, Jul 23, 10:00am - 10:45am
Get best practices for creating a YouTube Channel and compelling video content that promotes your products and services and drive engagement with your brand. Register

Thu, Jul 23, 11:00am - 11:30am
Join Miss Christian each week to hear a new story and sing songs. Registration is required.Register

Thu, Jul 23, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Fascione acts out literature and folk-tales with a unique combination of storytelling, mime, juggling and comedy. Laughter abounds! Ages 6-12.Register

Thu, Jul 23, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Join us online for Barrett's knitting and crochet group! Register

Thu, Jul 23, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Sing, dance and laugh with one of our favorite local musicians! Pre-registration is required for this event. Register

Thu, Jul 23, 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

Fri, Jul 24, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Ann Torralba, aka Little Miss Ann, is an award-winning kids’ musician from the Chicago area whose music will get kids rocking and rolling. Recommended for Ages 0-5.Register

Fri, Jul 24, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Join Annie Mazes of Workman Publishing to learn about their upcoming fall titles!Register