ACPL Reopening Details & COVID-19 Updates

Update 5/22/2020: Libraries will reopen buildings to the public and expand curbside service to regular business hours starting Tuesday, May 26. Please read the following details carefully. 

Note that the way you interact with our buildings and staff will look and feel quite different in some important ways;
these changes will be in place to meet state and local reopening requirements–
and most importantly, to keep our staff and patrons as safe as possible.

Thank you for doing everything you can to ensure your own safety and the safety of our staff.

What to Expect at Your Library Starting Tuesday, May 26th:
  • Buildings open to the public; public asked to observe at least 6 feet in distance between staff and other library visitors, and not to enter a library if they are not feeling well.
  • Curbside Service is available during normal business hours. How it works:

1) Call any library location to request materials currently at that location.

2) When you arrive at the library, call the library again.

3) A staff member will bring the materials outside and leave them in a
designated location, or place them in your vehicle.

4) Materials not picked up by the end of the business day will be re-shelved.

  • ACPL staff members are required to wear a mask in accordance with the State Health Department order.

Librarian Sue wearing a mask

  • Designated hours begin for our at-risk community members. Thank you for helping us make this possible!Athens:

    Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10am
    Chauncey: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11am
    Coolville: Mondays from 9-10am
    Glouster: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10am
    Nelsonville: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10am
    The Plains: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10am
    Wells (Albany): Mondays from 9-10am

  • Holds start to become available–expect delays in this service during the coming weeks, as cargo between libraries in our system and in the state is not yet up and running.
  • Bikes available for checkout, and will be sanitized in-between uses.
  • Public computer spaces open, though they may look different and have time limitations to follow safe physical distancing requirements.
  • Remote Technology Help appointments are available with Sarie by calling the Athens Public Library at (740) 592-4272. Share your preference for using Google Meet, Zoom, or phone.
  • At-Home Library Service continues with safety precautions.
  • Talking Books Service resumes through the Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled. This free service to patrons who are legally blind, have trouble reading large print, or have a physical condition that prevents them from reading a print book includes a free, mailed digital player and a bimonthly catalog of available titles. Digital audiobooks can then be ordered online or over the phone.
Some of the other precautions & safety requirements we’ll be following: 
  • More stringent cleaning/disinfecting procedures at check-out and for all returned items.
  • Limited number of people in buildings at one time.
  • Plexiglass partitions at some libraries, and furniture moved or removed to follow safely requirements.
  • Meeting rooms will not be available for patron use; many will be used for staff purposes during this time.
  • No children’s toys or children’s activities at all locations.
  • Volunteer activity suspended.
  • Notary service suspended.
  • Book donations and sales suspended.
  • Our HVAC contractor has made sure our settings are in line with industry standards for preventing the spread of the virus indoors, and we’ve installed high-grade filters at all of our buildings.
  • Sadly, no in-person programs for the foreseeable future. *More info on upcoming virtual programs can be found on our events calendar and social media. 
Thank you for your extra patience as we continue to serve Athens County 
while practicing these requirements and precautions together!


Questions about our recent closure: (Updated March 17, 2020)

Why is ACPL making this decision?

We recognize the important service that libraries provide to our communities in times of crisis like this, and have been trying our best to balance maintaining access to the resources and information that our patrons need while also maintaining the health and safety of the entire community. Thank you all for your support and understanding as we navigate this challenge together.

Will WiFi still be available?

Yes. You can access free wifi in all of our parking lots and at our hotspot locations in New Marshfield and Amesville.

Where can I find reliable information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our state?

Visit our local health department’s COVID-19 website resource for day-by-day updates at this site.

A local library is my polling location. What should I do?

* Update 3/27: Most Ohioans will be required to cast their vote by mail for this year’s primary. The deadline for absentee voting has been moved up to April 27th, not June 2nd as was originally announced. More details and FAQ here.

*In-person voting on April 28th will still take place, but only at boards of elections early voting centers, and only for those with disabilities who require in-person voting and those without a home mailing address.


Are library employees being laid off because of this?

Since this is an emergency closure, per our Emergency Policy, all staff will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work during the closure.

I have overdue items. What should I do?

The good news is that we already don’t have late fees, and that your items automatically renew up to 6 times if no one else has put them on hold.

Due dates that occur during our closure will also be extended and holds suspended. No need to bring in your checked out items…stay home!

What if I have a hotspot checked out that’s due soon?

We won’t be disconnecting overdue hotspots during the library’s closure.

I have books I would like to donate. What do I do?

Book donations at all locations have been suspended until after we re-open. We simply do not have the staff or volunteers on site to handle these until then. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation; you can donate your items during our open hours as soon as we re-open.

I want to access eLibrary resources from home, but what if I forgot my password/pin?

To access our online resources, all you need is your library card number and a password or pin. (In some cases, you’ll also need to set up an account for a resource using the email and password of your choice.)

If you’ve forgotten your password/pin, you can reset it yourself by visiting our catalog. Click on the “Forgot your password?” link and follow the instructions.

You can also email us if you get stuck, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

I know someone in the area who would benefit from your eLibrary resources during this time. What should I tell them?

If you’re 18 years or older and live in Ohio or neighboring counties in W. Virginia, you can open an eLibrary account with us online (This also applies to college students from out of state currently going to school in these places.)

More details about your library card

Note: if you already have a regular account with us, good news–you already have access to all of our eLibrary resources and don’t need to apply for an eLibrary account. 

I could use some help accessing your online resources. What should I do?

Visit for step-by-step video instructions on how to use many of our eLibrary resources. Still have a question? You can email us here, or call 1-740-737-6008.

…the list goes on and on!

*Need help accessing our eLibrary resources for the first time? Use Niche Academy’s collection of tutorials and instruction on Freegal, Kanopy, LawDepot,, and more. 

What else should I know?

No At-Home delivery of materials, delivery to our Amesville Locker Library, Talking Book services, or volunteer hours at the libraries will occur during this time.

I have a question. Who can I contact?

You can use our general questions form here. We’ll be monitoring email throughout this closure, and you can also call 1-740-737-6008 and leave a message.

For those seeking answers about Coronavirus and unemployment insurance benefits, visit or watch how-to videos at

There are 2 ways to apply for unemployment benefits in Ohio:

  • Online at This website is available 24/7.
  • By calling 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408 (excluding holidays) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you have questions about any of the above information or wish to engage with the agency further, email


We’re in this together, Athens County! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to prevent new cases of this virus. The collective actions we take today affect the health of all of us tomorrow.