Georgia Public Library, 2018

The Georgia Public Library recently announced it would begin offering curbside pick-up services, joining most of the region’s libraries in offering remote checkouts as COVID-19’s spread slows in Vermont.

FAIRFAX/GEORGIA – Libraries around Northwest Vermont have continued to creak open, with libraries in Fairfax and Georgia joining the ranks this week of the many regional libraries now open to curbside services.

Since late April, libraries around the county have gradually reopened their bookshelves to the public, accessible through curbside pickup services coordinated through the libraries’ email accounts and over the phone.

The Fairfax Community Library and the Georgia Public Library have, like others in the county, limited curbside pick-up services to one day a week, with the Fairfax library offering pickups on Wednesdays and the Georgia library on Tuesdays.

State guidelines from the Vermont Dept. of Libraries have offered guidelines for libraries opting to loan books from the roadside, advising libraries have as little staff as possible within their buildings and limit person-to-person contact as much as possible in order to avoid spreading COVID-19.

Public libraries in Vermont were closed in March when a gubernatorial “stay home, stay safe” order was issued, shutting down most public spaces and businesses to limit interactions that could spread COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory disease only beginning its spread through Vermont at the time.

COVID-19’s spread in Vermont has slowed in recent weeks, with state modeling showing the disease’s spread having peaked in late April.

A survey of library announcements in Franklin and Grand Isle counties found that most public libraries in Northwest Vermont are now offering curbside services. Several, like Alburgh and Enosburgh’s libraries, also offer home delivery services.

The Messenger advises calling in advance to confirm details on local libraries’ curbside pick-ups.

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