Brookline Libraries Now Pickup Only Due To Covid Staff Shortage

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BROOKLINE, MA — All Brookline Public Libraries will return to a contactless pickup model starting Tuesday, Jan. 18 due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19.

According to Library Director Sara Slymon, the town’s libraries are experiencing daily absenteeism of up to 30 percent due to illness.

"We regret having to close our physical doors again more than we can say,” said Slymon in a letter to the community. "With COVID-19 cases rising in Brookline, our surrounding communities, and Library staff, though, we believe these measures to be necessary to help combat the latest surge and maintain as many library services as possible at this time. This was a very difficult decision, made in collaboration with the Board of Trustees and the Town administration.”

All Brookline libraries will offer these limited services for two weeks, at which time the town will reevaluate based on local COVID-19 data.

"There have been multiple articles indicating that the current wave of infections is cresting, and we hope that to be true,” said Slymon.

Contactless library services

Residents may reserve library materials and then pick them up at the front door once they’ve been once notified that their holds are ready. Reserve materials here or call 617-730-2370 ext. 3 to talk to a librarian who can assist.

All our virtual, electronic, and take-home offerings will remain in place, including the following services:

  • Reserve books, movies, music, games, Chromebooks, hotspots, and all the other materials you normally check out from the library.

  • Access electronic resources including ebooks, audiobooks, movies, newspapers, magazines, and digitized archival materials.

  • NEW OFFERING: Adult fiction book bundles!

  • Get librarian support by phone or chat during library hours (617-730-2370 ext. 3).

  • Attend virtual Library programming including book groups, storytimes, speakers, take-home craft kits, and more.

  • Print documents by emailing them to

  • Have objects 3D printed or lasercut for you by staff.

  • Sign up for a new library card if you don’t have one already.

Library hours will remain the same as they are currently, and book drops will still be open 24/7.

This article originally appeared on the Brookline Patch

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