Recent History

An Historical Record of Platt Memorial Library during COVID-19 Pandemic, March 2020 – Summer 2022

Library Hours

Mondays and Wednesdays: 9 – 5
Thursdays: 11 – 7
Saturdays:  9 – 12

A description of library services from March 2020 – March 2021 by Library Director Abby Adams, published on Facebook on March 17, 2021: “We were open to the public last on Monday, March 16th, 2020 and then closed from that point onwards. On Wednesday the 18th, the staff and I met and I outlined what our plan would be moving forward. The governor’s orders were in effect, but I felt strongly that 1) library services are vital when you’re asking people to stay home and 2) we could continue to operate safely, if we remained closed to the public. I did a lot of research that week, reading all of the scholarly journal studies I could get my hands on about the novel coronavirus. Of particular interest to me was a study conducted in a mall and office in China. It’s one that was often cited at the beginning because one of its conclusions was that “indirect transmission could not be ruled out” based on the contact tracing. Here’s the article, if you’re a nerd like me and find things like this interesting: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0412_articleI am pleased to say that the measures I put in place in March of 2020 made it possible for us to provide a year of service to our community—without interruption or modification. During the early days, we delivered items to homes (contactless—before it was a buzzword!) Staff scheduling changes meant that no one was in the building at the same time. Our staffed hours shifted so that we could capitalize on daylight and save some pennies in our operational costs. During the summer, many libraries in our community opened their doors in a variety of ways. I thought hard about our decision, and I believe (and still do), that during that time our priority was our collection and services. We were unable to offer the community any reasonable way to enjoy or use our building—the smartest thing for us to do was continue to maximize what we can offer: materials to entertain and educate. When you compare the year we’ve been closed, we have consistently circulated over 80% of what people borrowed the year prior to our closure, strong data to support my decision. I was also certain that things would not look as rosy in our community in the fall as they did in the summer. I made the choice to continue our service model through the summer so that something would remain consistent for our patrons in a year of incredible change. I also feel that we are very, very lucky to be able to have our elementary school students learn in person 5 days a week and our middle and high school students learn in person 2 days a week. Many millions of children around the country have spent over a year in virtual learning because of the uncontrolled spread of the virus in their communities. By decreasing a possible point of risk (keeping our building closed) perhaps we could help the school to stay open. I know our building’s closure has been an inconvenience for many and an irritant for a few. To them, I apologize. If you’d like something to blame other than the pandemic, feel free to blame me. I have always worried about the library as a community vector point between our youngest and oldest patrons and have definitely taken a cautious approach to managing the library during this time. Fun fact: our normal flu-season cleaning procedures meant that we didn’t really have to change what we do when OSHA developed their COVID-19 business standards! I also know that I have a stack of letters from those of you who were grateful to have someone drop off books or select materials for your families. We are so proud and pleased to have been able to offer you that small comfort this past year. Now, as more people in our community are vaccinated and our percent positive rate slowly creeps downwards, I’m thinking ahead to the summer. I hope that come June, things feel dramatically different in our community and we are able to open our doors by appointment (our first step) and invite families to outdoor programming. Let’s work together to get there. It has been an amazing year. A challenging, stressful, awful year, but also a year of tremendous growth and opportunity. We’ve grown as an institution—in terms of our virtual offerings, our flexibility, and our skill in selecting books that appeal for every patron. We were highlighted by Seven Days (the link, if you missed it: https://m.sevendaysvt.com/…/with-curbside…/Content…) for our work in getting materials to people. We ran a wildly successful virtual/take-home summer reading program that had participation levels on par with our best summers. We also have big plans for the rest of the spring—we’re renovating our kids’ room—completing the major renovation and expansion project that was started 10 years ago. (Incidentally, that’s when I took my position running the Platt as librarian.) I am so grateful to have been here during this time. Shoreham is an amazing community and it has been my privilege and pleasure to lead its library this past year. If you made it this far, congratulations! You must need a new book. Give us a call (897-2647) or drop us an email plattmemorial.library@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to arrange a pick-up for you. Thanks for your indulgence as I took this opportunity to memorialize this time and reflect on the anniversary of the date the world took a pause.”

From July 2021 to March 2022 we were open to single-household groups at a time. That means patrons were free to enjoy the library with anyone that is in their household during our open hours. Rarely, patrons were asked to wait if another household is using the library. We started our current policy of posting a  large sign out front to help you know what the current procedure is.

In the spring of 2022, we opened our doors to the public without restrictions. We welcome patrons wearing a mask, if they would like to. We have kept our curbside and delivery services upon request. For some of our community members, it continues to make a big difference.

Just give us a call (802-897-2647) or send an email plattmemorial.library@gmail.com. The staff and board of the Platt Memorial Library are pleased to welcome you into the library without restrictions. We have preserved this page to document an important and difficult time in our recent history.

wooden box for item returns pictured outside the side entrance of the library building

We had to change some of our service during these difficult years, but we were always able to provide the services below to our community.

Online Catalog

Online Library Catalog button

browse the Platt Library’s physical collection from home.

A Guide to Adding Books to your Book Bin and emailing it to the library to request items

Online eBooks and Audiobooks- read or listen from home!

ListenUp Vermont / Libby App use the last digits of your library card number to login. Need your card number? Send us an email: platt@shoreham.net

Free Audible Audiobooks for Kids

Elementary Stream of eBooks from Junior Library Guild
No password needed.

Middle School Stream of eBooks from Junior Library Guild
No password needed.

High School Stream of eBooks from Junior Library Guild
No password needed.

Curb Side or Home Delivery

Sign up for Curb Side Pick up or Home Delivery in order to get books, DVDs, or puzzles from the library without any person-to-person contact

Spring Break Fun

During Spring Break (4/20 – 4/24) we posted Internet Freebies, Felt Board Stories/Songs, LEGO Building Challenges, MakerClub Building Challenges, and Book Reviews for Adults you can continue to access this content by clicking any of the links.

Summer Reading

We’re not sure what Summer Reading will look like in 2022, but if you follow the link, you can see what we did for 2021! We partnered with the ARK Summer Camp in Shoreham and provided 22 take-and-make activity bags during the 6 months of summer reading. Over 610 bags were taken!

Printing Services

Need something printed in black and white? Send it to us via email at plattmemorial.library@gmail.com and we’ll coordinate a pick up time for your print-outs.

Reference Questions and Research Assistance

Get questions answered, research or technology help at 802-897-2647, Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am – 5pm, Thursdays from 11am to 7pm, and Saturdays from 9am – 12pm.