COVID spike prompts Westport Library to scale back building access

Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer introduces speakers for the Connecticut 4th Congressional District Debate at the Westport Library's Trefz Forum in Westport, Conn. Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.

Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer introduces speakers for the Connecticut 4th Congressional District Debate at the Westport Library's Trefz Forum in Westport, Conn. Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT — With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the state, the Westport Library has announced it will begin reducing public access to its building.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to limit the number of people in the building at any one time while continuing to provide in-person services for those who prefer them,” Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer said in a statement Monday. “Over the past nine months we have maintained a flexible approach to service delivery while always keeping the safety of our patrons and staff as our top priority.”

Starting Dec. 16, patrons will gain access to the Westport Library building by appointment only. The library will provide 30-minute in-person appointments between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday for patrons wishing to browse the collection, speak with a librarian, use a computer, or shop in the library store.

The library will continue to offer special delivery to Westport residents who are home-bound and provide cart side pick-ups of books, DVDS, and CDs at the upper-level parking lot. Patrons can select and request materials for pick up through the online catalog or by calling 203-291-4807.

“As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, I urge residents to remain at home if possible and to utilize alternative services, such as cart side pick-up, that reduce the chances of exposure to COVID-19 carriers,” First Selectman Jim Marpe said. “The library’s outstanding digital resources and virtual programs are also invaluable resources during these challenging times.”

Fines on all items will not accrue during this period of limited service, the news release said.

“The library will continue to offer exceptional virtual programs and services throughout this ordeal, and we are able to fully reopen the building,” Harmer said. “The library staff are very grateful for the partnership and patience of both patrons and the community at large.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

More Information

How to make an appointment:

To make an appointment to browse the collection or speak with library staff click here.

To make an appointment to use the express computer visit click here.

To make an appointment for the store visit click here.

Appointments to visit the Children's Library can be made by going to the library's site.

To speak with reference or information staff call 203.291.4840. To speak to staff in the children's library, call 203-291-4810. For all other inquiries call 203-291-4800.