Ruth Keeler Library closed to the public beginning Wednesday, January 6

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Photo by Benjamin Allen, HudValley Photo

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library today announced that they will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, January 6, with only curbside service available to patrons. Library director Carolyn Reznick said that the decision was made based on the anticipated spike in covid-19 cases after the holidays and media reports that the new strain of the virus may be more contagious.

The move is in keeping with that of many of the libraries in the Westchester Library System (WLS) as they attempt to keep staff and patrons safe amid rising coronavirus cases in the area. As of today, Westchester County had a 7.58% 7-day average positivity rate. 

While the news of the Library's closing is disappointing for community members who take advantage of the many services that the Library provides, staff are working on plans to adapt to the circumstances with altered or new services. Among them: book bundles custom prepared based on a patron's reading preferences, grab-and-go craft bags for children and outdoor carts for browsing when weather permits. Staff members are also available to help patrons with faxing, printing and scanning documents as needed.

The Library, in conjunction with other WLS libraries, increased its purchase of e-books available through Westchester Library System. E-books arefree to borrow with a library card. This investment was made possible, in part, by the record number of donations the Library received this year in response to its annual appeal. 

"We are deeply grateful that the library is still seen as an important community resource and thank those who gave," Reznick said.

While outdoor storytimes have had to pause due to weather, Library volunteers Kate Ledley and Katie Paulsen have spent time building out online resources for children by posting read-alouds and accompanying craft tutorials of "If You Give A Pig A Party" and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"   on YouTube.

Reznick said that the Library will make the decision to reopen based on the numbers, and want to reopen as soon as they feel it is safe to do so. 

"We are a community library and our mandate is to serve the residents of North Salem. We are sad that we have to do this and can't wait until we can open up again," said Reznick.

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