Phased Reopening Plan

Dear Patrons,

After much discussion, thought and deliberation the Walpole Town Library Board of Trustees has voted to keep the library closed until further notice. The good news is that we will begin curbside services on May 19th (keep an eye out for a schedule coming soon). While we cannot predict when we can welcome you back into the building, we sincerely hope that curbside pickup will be a beneficial first step in reopening the library.

Below you will find the first half of our phased reopening plan. Keep in mind, this is a working document. It changes often as new information is shared from the government, task forces, the State Library and other local libraries. 

Know that we miss you and we can’t wait to see you in the library again, but we’re going to take things slowly because Walpole currently has no confirmed COVID-19 cases and we’d like to keep it that way.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. You can email me at

Stay well,

Justine Fafara
Library Director

The Walpole Town Library has created a phased reopening plan to continue serving the community while also abiding by the recommended safety precautions from the Governor and the CDC. The primary consideration in this plan is maintaining the safety of both library patrons and library staff while finding ways to provide services that the library is uniquely positioned to perform. Justine Fafara, Library Director, has been working with other local libraries, collaborating with libraries around the state through State Library webinars and conference calls, taking the Governor’s orders into consideration and continues to monitor the situation. This document is a working document; it changes daily as more information becomes available and will continue to change as new information is provided from task forces at both the state and federal level. 

In any scenario where staff are working from inside the library building the following need to be implemented:

  1. Cleaning and disinfecting products can be made readily available for improved hygiene procedures
  2. Staff are equipped with masks to wear while working and administering public services.

Phase 1: Beginning May 18th, assuming there is not a large spike in cases once other businesses begin to open, we will:

  • Allow one staff member in the building twice a week for curbside pickup and on site projects. Curbside pickup will look just like it did as we phased into closing: patrons can call or email their requests and let us know what time they will be picking up materials. Staff will pull materials, place in a bag with patron’s name and the time of pickup written on paper taped to the bag, bags will be placed on the front porch 15 minutes prior to pick up time to avoid contact. 
  • Keep the Book Drop closed and only allow returns of materials we’ve requested back from patrons via phone calls and emails. Returned materials will be disinfected and quarantined for 72 hours (as recommended for plastic surfaces by the CDC). 
  • Continue everything else as listed above in the “current” plan. 

Phase 2: When Stay at Home is lifted or reduced greatly, but gathering of no more than 10 is still in effect (June 15th):

  • Staff can enter the building and will work 4 hour shifts inside to offer curbside services and work on inventory projects. One staff member plus the library director will be permitted in the building at a time. Telework will still be encouraged when applicable.
  • While working in the building, staff will take a 5 minute break every 30-45 minutes for water and to wash their hands. Other breaks including bathroom breaks can be taken as necessary. 
  • Offer Curbside Pickup daily.
  • Staff working inside the building will be required to wear a mask and disinfect any equipment used both before and after use including but not limited to computers, phone, doorknobs, and desks.
  • The Book Drop will remain closed. Staff will call patrons and ask for high demand materials to be returned. These materials will be quarantined for at least 72 hours (as recommended by the CDC).
  • Virtual programs will continue.
  • Planned purchases of high demand materials will be made. 
  • Patrons can email materials to the library to be printed and staff will leave them on the porch, just like any other curbside pickup.
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