Brookline Libraries now only picking up due to Covid staffing shortages


BROOKLINE, MA – All Brookline public libraries will return to a contactless pickup model beginning Tuesday, January 18 due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19.

According to library director Sara Slymon, the city’s libraries are experiencing a daily absenteeism rate of up to 30% due to illness.

“We regret having to close our physical doors again more than we can say,” Slymon said in a letter to the community. “With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Brookline, our surrounding communities and library staff, we believe these measures are necessary to help combat the latest outbreak and maintain as many library services as possible as possible. It was a very difficult decision, taken in collaboration with the board of directors and the municipal administration.

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

“There have been several reports indicating that the current wave of infections is peaking, and we hope that will be true,” Slymon said.

Contactless library services

Residents can reserve materials from the library and then pick them up at the front door once they have been notified that their reservations are ready. Reserve gear here or call 617-730-2370 ext. 3 to speak to a librarian who can help you.

All of our virtual, electronic and take-out offers will remain in place, including the following services:

  • Reserve books, movies, music, games, Chromebooks, hotspots, and all the other materials you normally borrow from the library.
  • Access electronic resources, including eBooks, audiobooks, films, newspapers, magazines, and digitized archival materials.
  • NEW OFFER: Bundles of adult fiction books!
  • Get support from a librarian by phone or chat during library opening hours (617 730-2370, ext. 3).
  • Attend virtual library programming, including reading groups, story times, guest speakers, take-home craft kits, and more.
  • Print documents by emailing them to [email protected]
  • Have staff 3D print or laser cut objects.
  • Sign up for a new library card if you don’t already have one.
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Library hours will remain the same as now and book drops will still be open 24/7.

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