Greenfield Public Library open for browsing on Tuesdays, Thursdays

  • The Greenfield Public Library on Main Street reopened for browsing on Tuesday. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

For the Recorder
Published: 10/27/2020 4:53:18 PM

GREENFIELD — After months with online catalog ordering and a “to-go” pick-up system being the only way to get hold of books, the Greenfield Public Library reopened for browsing on Tuesday.

“We miss the patrons and the patrons miss us,” commented Assistant Library Director Lisa Prolman.

The library will be open for browsing on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. No appointments are needed, and a greeter at the front entrance will limit visitors in the building to 10 at a time.

Face coverings are required and are available to those who don’t have one. Hand sanitizing is recommended and bathrooms, water fountains, the elevator and the basement are not accessible.

Prolman was passionate when articulating the difference between browsing for books in-person and ordering through an online catalog, describing how impersonal the latter experience is. Browsing the shelves and walking out with their finds “will give (partrons) more of a connection,” Prolman said.

“It will give people the opportunity to see what is here that they might not have thought of,” she added.

Still, the GPL To-Go and Laptops on the Lawn programs will continue as before. Prolman emphasized the library is not taking any services away, only adding.

“We have people who definitely want to come back into the library and we have people who under no circumstances want to come back into the library,” she said. “We want to be able to serve everybody.”

The library took longer to reopen than many others in Franklin County due to its larger size, Prolman said. The last few months have been filled with preparation and cleaning, which included a soft opening where a small number of visitors were invited to browse and give feedback.

Although there are no toys in the children’s room and the ukuleles are not available, the sections of the library that were open to the public pre-pandemic are open again, including materials such as books, music, magazines and DVDs. Although the computer area has been “taken over” by GPL To-Go, two computers are available indoors.

Arrows and signs help visitors navigate the rooms safely and efficiently, and Prolman said many of the books on the “new books” shelf face forward so they’re easy to see, reducing the need for touch.

“We’re looking forward to seeing people and we know from people coming to our pickup that they are looking forward to seeing us,” Prolman said. “We’ve done a lot of cleaning, and the library looks beautiful.”

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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