It’s been about two months now since the Dyer Library and Saco Museum closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since we closed, staff have been coming in to check in the materials you’ve left in the book drop, collect the mail, and pay the bills — which did not stop because of the pandemic. We’ve all noticed how quiet and lonely the buildings are without all of you — our kind customers. We’ve missed you!

Now, with the state about to enter into Phase 2 of reopening, we plan to reopen as well — on June 1 — unless the situation unexpectedly changes. But, as I know you must have expected, things aren’t going to be quite the same. There are going to be lots of new restrictions that we need to abide by. We’re sorry for all of these new changes, but I know that we most likely all agree that the goal is to keep this disease at bay and to keep as many of us well as we possibly can. The State of Maine has laid out strict rules for libraries to follow.

So, here are some of those new rules. There may be more that are yet to come; it’s still a couple of weeks before we plan to re-open and stuff can change.

• Our open hours will be just the same as they were before we closed up.

• Any materials that you didn’t return will now be due so please try to bring them by, hopefully by June 14. After June 14, everything that hasn’t been returned or renewed will start to accrue fines.

• Based on the square footage of our building, we are going to allow in no more than 20 people at a time. To be fair to those who might be waiting, we ask you to limit your visit to no more than 20 minutes.

• Because of that, and because of the possible risk of infection, there will be NO public computer use for the time being, NO public photocopier use, and the restroom will be CLOSED, (so please plan ahead!)

• YOU’VE GOT TO WEAR A MASK! (Yes, I’m yelling here.) We’ll be wearing them too so we’re all in the same uncomfortable boat here!

• YOU NEED TO SANITIZE YOUR HANDS WHEN YOU COME IN THE DOOR. That’s because you’re going to want to browse our collections and we want to keep them clean. I know that you agree that this is a reasonable precaution.

• When materials are checked in, they are going to be quarantined for 72 hours. That is going to e-x-t-e-n-d the waiting time for popular items that you might want to put on hold. (The federal government is conducting a study on this; come mid-summer results should be in that may either shorten or end this quarantine of materials.)

• Please don’t send your children to the library to spend the day. They also only get 20 minutes. PLEASE don’t visit us if you are sick.

We are going to do our absolute best to serve you just as well as we did before, keep the premises and the materials clean, and go back to as close to business as usual as we can.

Welcome back!

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