A Message from our Director about COVID-19 and the Library
Henrico County has created an online resource with information about the coronavirus, including the number for the Virginia Department of Health call center, and other helpful links. You can access that resource here. It will be updated regularly. We are following the County’s lead in its response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Beginning Monday, March 16, Henrico County Public Library buildings have been closed and will be until further notice. Don't worry about things like overdue books or returning items - any physical materials currently checked out will have their due dates extended until we reopen. Book returns are currently closed. Any holds that were placed will be waiting for you to pick up when we reopen. Our All Henrico Reads author event on April 2 will be postponed, and we plan to reschedule for a later date. Programs and meetings are being canceled during this time.
During this closure, we encourage you to visit the library remotely through henricolibrary.org. You can borrow materials online from the library through OverDrive, for books and audiobooks, and Hoopla, for books, audiobooks, music, and movies. Hoopla has no waiting period for borrowing. You can get digital access to magazines online with your library card through RB Digital, and newspapers through our Online Research page. Students of all ages can receive free online tutoring and homework help with Tutor.com, and additional study resources are available through Learning Express Library. If you have a question for a librarian, you can use our online Ask A Librarian service by clicking the green tab from any page of our website. Our My Next Read service can help you get book recommendations via email directly from library staff. Follow our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for recommended reading lists and other resources to support your learning, work, and curiosity during this time. We are launching virtual storytimes via Facebook Live.
Thank you for your support of the Henrico County Public Library, our County, and community. Henrico County and HCPL will continue to update you through our website and social media channels.
Barbara F. Weedman
Thank you for writing us. The CDC has not issued cleaning recommendations for items like books with regard to the novel coronavirus. We do not disinfect books when they are returned or used in-house. If you are concerned about exposure, you can access library resources remotely. You can call your local library for help getting started with online access.
If all of the articles out there are correct and the virus has an ~3 day lifespan on surfaces, perhaps taking returned books out of circulation past that lifespan might work. Maybe you could put the returned books for the day into boxes (to help prevent cross-contamination) and once enough time has passed put them back into circulation. It won't do anything if someone infected comes into the library and handles books but puts them back on the shelf, but you could theoretically prevent this scenario by only allowing the staff to retrieve books, allowing our citizens access to a drive thru or the lobby. Just a thought for these strange times.
They literally did in multiple countries. Yes, you can close everything. Especially the libraries, a non-essential service, when Richmond has already done so.
At this time, most storytimes are still happening. Sensory Storytime has been canceled. Please check our website and events calendar as there may be additional cancelations. Thank you for writing to us.