Library Services and COVID-19

Westchester Library System (WLS) continues to work with libraries to develop plans and implement expanded services in ways that provide the best protection for library staff and patrons. No one plan fits all because Westchester libraries range from dense urban centers to suburban and rural settings. Each library is making decisions based on the specific needs of its community, situations at its location, information about local infection rates, and recommendations from local and state health organizations.

Please contact your local library for specifics about timing and service options.

  • Regular hold-filling has resumed. While materials are available from most libraries, patrons are still advised to contact their local library and pickup library for information about current services, pickup options, and hours.
  • Libraries continue to offer digital content, online research options, and educational platforms and an abundance of virtual services.
  • Library book drops are open so that you can return materials.
  • Since public libraries are currently permitted to operate with restrictions statewide, most WLS libraries are preparing for, and many have begun, contactless pickup through curbside or walkup options to provide safe access to physical materials.

We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we move forward in keeping with state and county guidelines for reopening library buildings and expanding the system-wide services.

Thank you for your continued support of libraries and we look forward to providing you even more access to materials in the future.

Are all Westchester Library locations open to the public?

Some WLS libraries are offering limited access to buildings and most offer contactless pickup through curbside or walkup options to provide safe access to physical materials. Please contact your local library for specifics about timing and service options.

What can I expect from WLS?

Here’s an overview of what is available to library cardholders and patrons at this time:

Ready to return items? Most locations have book drops open, please check with your local library.

Use your library remotely! Stream and download books, audiobooks, comics, magazines, music, and videos. Use our databases to conduct research, access ample resources for kids and teens, and more from your couch.

Fines & Fees: Most libraries have extended due dates and reduced or eliminated fines during the pandemic. Check with your local library for possible amnesty and fine forgiveness information.

OverDrive: Since more of our patrons are using WLS digital resources online, cardholders can have 10 checkouts for a total of 14 days each; the holds limit remains at a total of 10. Some digital checkouts can be returned early so others have opportunity for access.

Library card signup: Register online and start using your card immediately! If you sign up online during this time, your temporary account will be available for 6 months, giving you immediate access to OverDrive and other digital resources from home. Find out more about getting a library card.

Account expirations & renewals: Library card/account expirations will be extended, including accounts that expired in the past 24 months.

Interlibrary loans: All are running normal at this time.

WiFi access: All Westchester Library locations continue to provide open WiFi access, which may be available outside of their buildings.

Please don’t forget – Our libraries are still here for you virtually! Libraries continue to take your questions by phone, live chat, and email. They’re also providing and expanding virtual services and programs, along with their digital collection. And, WLS is working with community organizations, school districts, and other partners to support Westchester County residents with many different needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Have questions about COVID-19?

We understand that people may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. The Senior Benefits Individual Counseling wiki has a page with resources and information on Coronavirus.

Last updated November 25, 2020

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