Coronavirus Updates

August 23, 2021 Update:

Dear Friends,

Here at the Library, we are finishing up a busy summer season, with plans underway for an active fall.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 has a mind of its own, and while vaccinated individuals enjoyed a few months of relative freedom from wearing masks in public spaces, we are now seeing an uptick in cases in Stratford, even among vaccinated individuals.  On Friday, August 20th, Mayor Hoydick announced that masks would be required inside all public buildings in Stratford, regardless of your vaccination status.  In response, the Stratford Library has reinstated the requirement for all persons entering the building.  If you arrive without a mask, we are happy to provide one for you.  If you are looking for a fun way to refresh your mask wardrobe while supporting the  Stratford Library, cloth masks are available for sale ($10) at the Library Check-Out Desk!

I also regret to share that the Library’s 2020 Gala, The 70’s Project, rescheduled for September 25, 2021 has been cancelled.  Stay tuned for our next Gala, in celebration of the Stratford Library’s 125th Birthday, on April 30, 2022.

With your help, we can safely continue to offer programs, services, and spaces for everyone to Learn, Create and Share.  Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Library Director

 

July 16, 2021 Update:

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to announce that there are two big changes coming to the Stratford Library on Monday, July 19th.

  1. For the first time since March 12, 2020, our Main Street Entrance will be open for the public!
  2. If you are fully vaccinated, you will no longer be required to wear a face mask inside the Library UNLESS you are heading in to the Children’s Department.  Until our youngest library users have the opportunity to be vaccinated, we will continue to require masks in their space regardless of your vaccination status.  Of course, anyone who wishes to continue wearing a face covering while visiting other areas of the building is encouraged to do so.

The Library continues to offer a combination of in person and online programs and we are starting to plan for more indoor programs as the weather gets cooler, however, our program spaces will have limited capacity and we will continue to observe social distancing protocols.   You are welcome to review our Phased Plan for Operations During the Covid-19 Pandemic to learn more about what we are doing to create a safe, healthy environment that continues to be open to all.

Continue to be well, be safe and be smart,

Sheri Szymanski
Library Director

June 23, 2021 Update:

Dear Friends,

It’s summertime and the living is indeed a bit easier.  With fewer Covid-19 cases in our region and more people getting vaccinated, Stratford Library is moving into Phase 5 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the Covid-19 Pandemic starting July 6.
The Library will be open for our full hours of operation: MondayThursday 10am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 10am-5pm (Sundays 1-5pm will return in October).  Public computers in the Adult and Teen areas are available for use, as are study rooms for one or two people. Our WiFi signal has been extended both inside and outside the building.  We are also restoring some seating areas and hosting some of our programs in person.  Check out our Summer Program Catalog to find out all that we have going on!  For more information call our departments at Children 203-385-4165; Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164; Check-Out Desk 203-385-4160Because so many of our visitors are young children who cannot be vaccinated, we are asking you to continue wearing a mask while in the Library. 
Summer Reading programs are happening for people of all ages and we hope to see you at the Library this summer as we continue to offer a safe space for you and your family to learn, create and share.
Be well, be safe, and be smart!
Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

May 15, 2021 Update:

Dear Friends,

With warmer weather, more people eligible for vaccination and fewer people in our area hospitalized due to Covid 19, it is exciting to think about shedding pandemic precautions such as social distancing and mask wearing.  Here at the Stratford Library, we are doing just that, THINKING!  We are aware of the CDC’s recent guidance as it relates to indoor face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals.  We are reviewing this new information, along with state and local guidelines and we will let you know when this will impact our policies.  Right now, the Stratford Library will continue to operate under Phase 4 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID 19 Pandemic Our goal is to continue offering a safe space for you and your family to visit and for now, your visit still includes wearing a mask while at the Library. 

Our Librarians are busy planning a variety of fun activities for this summer, including summer reading programs for all ages, online programming AND in person programs held outdoors.  Stay tuned for our Summer Program Catalog!

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

March 6, 2021 Update:

Dear Friends,

As we finish our first year of navigating in the world during a pandemic, there are many positive things happening which will help move us back toward a more normal life, but it is important to continue taking care to minimize the spread of COVID 19.  As Governor Lamont has included libraries among the various businesses and services which will no longer be subject to capacity limitations, effective Friday, March 19, 2021, the Stratford Library will continue to operate under Phase 4 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID 19 Pandemic

This phase includes:

  • In person browsing and borrowing for all ages
  • Online and DIY Programs including Grab’n’Go kits for all ages
  • Adult and Teen computer labs (call 203-385-4164 for an appointment)
  • Self-service scanning and photocopying
  • Reference services by phone, chat or in person
  • Contact-free borrowing
  • Build Your Own Bundle book selection service

For more information about Library services, call our departments at Children 203-385-4165; Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164; Check-Out Desk 203-385-4160

The Library will continue to require face coverings, social distancing and limit patrons to 60 minutes in the building.  It is our goal to provide access to library services in an environment that is healthy and safe for our community and our workers.  We will continue to monitor the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases in Stratford, combined with the local rate of vaccination as we move toward safely expanding library services in the coming months.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


January 6, 2021 Update:

Welcome to 2021!
For months now, we’ve all been looking forward to  putting 2020 behind us, knowing that medicine has found improved methods for treating COVID 19 and understanding that a vaccination is on the way for all of us in the first  half of this new year.  But one look at Connecticut’s positivity rate and the number of cases being treated in hospitals gives us cause for concern.
The turn of a calendar page hasn’t changed much here at the Library.  We continue to operate under Phase 4 of the Library’s Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The Library remains open for brisk browsing and borrowing and adult and teen computer labs are open by appointment.  We continue to screen everyone entering the building, require masks, limit building capacity and ask that you keep your visit with us to 1 hour or less.  The Library’s online and Grab ‘n’ Go programs have been very popular in recent months, with more than 6,000 participants!
It is our goal to keep the doors open as long as it is safe to do so.  However, if you have concerns about entering the building and would prefer contact-free service, we are happy to work with you.  Visit our contact page  to fill out an online request for service or call to make arrangements (Children 203-385-4165; Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164).

 

I am pleased to share that the Stratford Library is one of 65 libraries across Connecticut recently awarded an Everybody Learns grant of $76,081. Governor Ned Lamont announced last fall that his administration would dedicate 2.6 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to support the state’s public libraries as they continue to make health and safety improvements and offer more services to residents amid the ongoing pandemic. Grant funding has been used to reduce airborne transmission of Covid-19 by placing stand-alone air purifiers throughout the building.  To reduce surface contact transmission of Covid-19, touch-free restroom fixtures have been installed and hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the Library. Upholstered furnishings have been upgraded or replaced with furnishings that can be sanitized in all public spaces; and additional cleaning supplies have also been purchased.  Funding has also been used to expand the Library’s WiFi capabilities, providing a stronger signal outside the building.  Internet hot spots and Chromebooks will also be available for loan through this initiative.  With these new measures in place, our goal is to serve the needs of our community as we navigate this pandemic together.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


September 24, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

While the world paused to get its bearings, the Stratford Library did the same. As we all shift back to our autumn “normal,” we thought it would be helpful to update you all on some of the goings on at the Library that you may (or may not!) already know about, including:

  • The entire Library is open for browsing, borrowing!
  • Computers for Adults and Teens can be reserved in advance for a one hour time slot. Call: 203-385-4164 for an appointment.
  • Express computers are available for printing and quick computing needs, no appointment necessary for a 15 minute session, once a day.
  • You will enter the building through the back (parking lot) entrance and will be greeted by a staff member who will screen you prior to entry.
  • Masks must be worn by everyone (age 2 and up) while in the library.
  • The Library will begin assessing overdue fees on September 28th (no fees will be charged from March 13 through September 26). However, if you still find yourself wary of venturing out, please call 203-385-4160 and we’ll work with you to try to extend loan periods. It may not always be possible, especially if items have holds on them, but we will work with you!  All items may be returned 24/7 in the Book Drops located at the front and rear of the Library.
  • Items returned to the Stratford Library are quarantined for 3-5 days, so they are not immediately removed from your account (no overdue fees are charged for quarantine days).  If you see returned materials still on your account six days after returning them, call 203-385-4160
  • Use your Stratford Library card to access free, downloadable books, videos, audiobooks, music and magazines.
  • Starting on October 5th, Library hours will be:
    Mondays        10am – 5pm
    Tuesdays        1pm – 8pm
    Wednesdays  1pm – 8pm
    Thursdays     10am – 5pm
    Fridays           10am – 5pm
    Saturdays      10am – 5pm
  • Photocopiers and scanners are available, no appointment necessary.
  • The microfilm reader/printer is available by appointment.  Call 203-385-4161.
  • Our Adult, Teen, & Children’s Departments are working harder than ever to bring you a variety of wonderful virtual programs & Grab ‘n’ Go kits. Check out our Events Calendar or sign-up for library eNewsletters for the latest news on our programs & services.
  • If you still prefer contact free Take-Out Service, call to make arrangements (Children 203-385-4165; Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164).

For more information about library operations, read our Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


August 22, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

I am excited to share the news that the Children’s Department has now joined Teen and Adult Services and is open for brisk browsing and borrowing! The Library continues to operate under Phase 4 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic. In Phase 4, patrons can enter the library to browse the collections and pick up holds at the Check-Out Desk.

Planning your visit to the Children’s Department:

  • We are so happy to see you again! Patrons are encouraged to ‘browse and borrow briskly’ and limit your visit to an hour or less.
  • While browsing, we ask that your group remains together as much as possible. This promotes social distancing.
  • We have set up a temporary service desk behind plexiglass to create a socially distanced space for your favorite librarians. Virtual hugs and high fives for everyone!
  • Seating and tables are not available anywhere in the Library at this time. Enjoy your library books at home!
  • Library toys have been put away and the play space is unavailable.
  • The Children’s Department Computer Lab is unavailable.
  • Programs will remain online for the Fall. Check out our program calendar.
  • Per the Governor’s Guidelines for reopening, everyone age two and up will be required to wear a mask or face covering over your nose and mouth. We know this may be a challenge for some of our two- and three-year-olds. Do your best!
  • The number of people in the building is limited—you may have to wait before entering and you may be asked to finish your visit to make room for others to enter.
  • No food or drink will be permitted, unless you’re a baby—we can’t eat and drink through our masks!
  • Our space has been renovated, but not all of the furnishings have arrived. We will all watch the transformation together!
  • If your family is struggling with the face covering requirement OR if you continue to feel most comfortable with Take-Out Service, call the Children’s Department at 203-385-4165. We are happy to set items aside for you to pick up, either at the Check-Out Desk in the Lobby or contact-free outside the building.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


July 25, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share the news that on Monday, July 27th, the Stratford Library will enter Phase 4 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  In Phase 4, patrons will be able to enter the library to browse the Lobby* Collections and pick up holds at the Check-Out Desk.  In order to provide a safe environment for you and our staff:

  • Everyone will enter the building via the parking lot entrance (the Main Street entrance will remain closed).
  • The number of people in the building will be limited—you may have to wait before entering.
  • You will be subject to a health and travel screening.
  • You will be required to wear a mask or face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided.
  • We have initiated a high-touch cleaning schedule.
  • No food or drink will be permitted in the building.
  • Public seating, tables, faxing, water fountains and payphones are unavailable.

If you cannot wear a mask/face covering, or are unable enter the building at this time, contact-free Take Out borrowing services are available by calling 203.385.4160.

We will continue to offer a limited number of computers in the Adult and Teen labs for 1 hour sessions.  Be sure to make an appointment in advance. Information for computer lab users. Don’t forget to take advantage of our online programs, Grab ‘n’ Go program kits, Reference Chat, and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music.  We are here to take your calls Monday–Saturday 10am-5pm.  We have a few more weeks of Summer Programs, including Summer Reading, online events and activities for all ages.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

*Adult and Teen stack areas will be open to the public for browsing on 8/3/20.  The Children’s Department is targeted to reopen on 8/10/20.


July 5, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

On Monday, July 6th, the Stratford Library will begin operating under Phase 3 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  During Phase 3, a limited number of computers in the Adult and Teen labs will be available for 1 hour sessions.  You will need to make a reservation before coming to the Library and there are new procedures that everyone entering the building will be required to follow.  Click here for more information.  We will continue providing contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, Grab ‘n’ Go program kits, Reference Chat, and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music.  We are here to take your calls MondaySaturday 10am-5pm.  We have a wide variety of Summer Programs, including Summer Reading, online events and activities for all ages.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


June 17, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

As Governor Lamont has included libraries among the various businesses and services that may reopen on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the Stratford Library has fielded many phone calls and emails from those of you who are eager to return to our building.  If it were only a matter of opening our doors, they would be open in a heartbeat, but we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our staff and for you.

The State of Connecticut recently published guidelines for the reopening of Libraries which require us to go through a self-certification process.  As we analyze each and every service that the Stratford Library provides, we are implementing the physical changes required prior to opening our doors.  At the same time, we are sourcing the protective equipment and supplies that will be needed in significant quantity before we open the doors.

The Stratford Library continues to operate under Phase 2 of our own Phased Plan for Operations During the COVID 19 Pandemic.  This phase includes contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, take and go program kits, Reference Chat, and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music.  We are here to take your calls Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm.  We have a wide variety of Summer Programs, including Summer Reading, online events and activities for all ages. We are looking forward to moving into Phase 3 on July 6, 2020, pending the completion of our self-certification process.

Be well, be safe and be smart!

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


 May 26, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends,

As we all navigate this time of pandemic together, the Stratford Library continues to serve our community.  In April, our librarians answered more than 1,500 inquiries, providing help with our online services, answering typical reference questions and even helping people use technology to connect with family from a distance!  More than 1,200 people of all ages participated in online book discussions, preschool storytimes, craft and trivia nights and other virtual programs–finding ways to learn, create and share while staying home.

As Connecticut carefully opens its doors again, the Stratford Library is implementing our own phased plan (available in PDF form here) to safely reopen.  Online programs and services will continue, and on Tuesday, May 26th, we will launch contact-free service so that you can borrow books and other items (by appointment only).  Visit our website, call 203-385-4164 between 10am-5pm, Monday through Saturday or email for more information. We are thrilled to begin this service and appreciate your patience as we continue to plan for the coming months, making the safety of our staff and patrons our top priority.

Be well, be safe and be smart!  We will get through this together.

Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library


More Information

Are there any library resources I can use from home?
Yes. The Library provides a wide array of digital offerings, which can be accessed from the comfort of home using your Stratford Library card.

What is happening to library programs & events?

The Library is offering a growing variety of online activities and programs in lieu of on-site events. Check our Calendar of Events and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter) for details and updates. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, too: https://bit.ly/2JDoNHC.

How can I support my child at this time?

Our Children’s Librarians are offering virtual storytimes and other online programs. Check our Calendar of Events. To join the fun, you’ll need to download Zoom software. Contact us if you need help! Also, please see our Healing Library: Coping with Coronavirus page. If you are dealing with loss, we have also made our Healing Library: Death of a Loved One kit available online.

What if my items are due? Will I accrue late fees?
The due dates for all circulating materials that are currently checked out have been extended to June 30th. No late fees will accrue on materials that were originally due during the closure period.

Can I drop off my materials in outdoor book drops?
Yes!

Can I apply for a library card?
If you need to obtain a new card, please call the Check Out Desk at 203-385-4160 between 9:30 am and 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

My library card is about to expire. How can I renew?
All library cards scheduled to expire have been extended until June 30th. If you encounter a problem, please call the Check Out Desk at 203-385-4160 between 9:30 am and 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

I have a question about my account. Is there anyone who can help me?
If you have any questions about your account, please call the Check Out Desk at 203-385-4160 between 10 am and 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

If you need assistance with our online services, our Reference Librarians are available by calling 203-385-4164, submitting a message via the new chat feature on our home page, or by email.

Coping with Coronavirus: An online resources kit for families & caregivers to help children understand the coronavirus.

Burbio: free digital service that puts all Stratford events in one place. Easy access to virtual programs in the area!

Job & Career Resources from the library! Help with finding a job, interview tips, tools for building skills, and upcoming events.

Up-to-Date Health Alerts & Information

Stratford Health Department

This page provides the latest information and guidance from the Town of Stratford.

Connecticut State Department of Health

This page provides the latest information and guidance from the State of Connecticut.

Center for Disease Control

This page provides the latest information on how the CDC is responding to the coronavirus outbreak. This page includes FAQs, prevention, testing, treatment, updates on cases in the United States and throughout the world, and more.

Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm