Coronavirus Updates

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, Friday, & Saturday 10-5
Tuesday & Wednesday 1-8