Dear Kingston Residents,
The recent changes to the Commonwealth’s reopening plan include allowing public libraries to increase their visitor capacity to 50%. Some neighboring town library buildings are open, and others are planning to expand their indoor services in the coming weeks.
The staff at the Kingston Public Library have done everything to prepare a safe and welcoming environment in anticipation of reopening the library building. One obstacle remains – staffing. In July, four of ten library positions were cut from the town budget, leaving the Library without the capacity to provide some of the basic services Kingston residents have come to need and expect. Most important, the loss of Kingston’s Children’s Librarian has greatly diminished the Library’s ability to provide children’s services and programming.
Still, the remaining staff have adapted services, programs, and procedures to safely provide:
- curbside pickup and printing
- outdoor browsing
- grab-and-go crafts
- virtual programs
Making the decision to open the building to the public brings an array of new challenges that library staff must address. The most critical and difficult: the Library cannot safely open the building and provide curbside service at the same time. In consultation with the Kingston Reopening Task Force, the Library Trustees and I have made the decision that with the current staffing level, the best way for the Library to safely serve the greatest number of people is to concentrate on curbside pickup, virtual programming, and outdoor services, while keeping the building closed to the public. Library staff will continue to focus on how to provide and improve these services in a way that’s safe and allows for the most access possible.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.