As Massachusetts moves gingerly toward a "new normal," Cotuit Library is ready to take the next step on our own path to bringing in-person services to our patrons. Starting Monday, June 22 , the Library will open its doors to allow patrons to pick up their materials and ask questions at the Circulation Desk. We need to start slowly so that all the staff--and patrons--have time to master the protocols and procedures we've put in place to keep everyone safe. It’s very important for all of us to remember that in order to make this system work, we will need your help and cooperation .


Help us polish our in-person check out procedures! When staff contact you about your materials, you can come into the building to the circulation desk to pick them up. Those who'd prefer not to come inside will still be able to use our Curbside or Homebound services, which we will continue to run. As before, s taff working in the building will be taking all required precautions to ensure your materials are safe to pick up: wearing masks; engaging in frequent hand-washing and sanitizing; and quarantining returned materials for 72 hours+ before surface cleaning and recirculating. We also have daily and hourly cleaning/sanitizing schedules, and the Cotuit Fire Department is fogging the building with disinfectant on Monday mornings before 9:00 a.m.

What to expect:

  • Starting Monday, June 22, we will contact patrons whose requests are ready and invite them to pick their materials up at the Circulation Desk that day between NOON and 4:00 p.m. Patrons will also have the option of using the Curbside Pickup service if they prefer.
  • Patrons are expected to wear a mask during pickup, whether in-Library or Curbside.
  • A volunteer will be sitting on the patio to greet patrons, answer questions and share the protocol for picking up materials from inside the Library.
  • Only 4 patrons at any one time will be allowed inside the Library. The volunteer will let you know if you may enter.
  • Upon entering the front foyer, patrons will be expected to use the touchless hand sanitizing station.
  • Inside the Library, you'll follow a one-way path through the building marked with signs and floor stickers.
  • When it's your turn at the Circulation Desk, you will be asked to hold your card barcode-side up just under the gap in the Plexiglas desk shield so that it can be scanned. Your materials will be checked out to you and passed through the gap.
  • If you have questions or need to arrange for tech help, you can do so at this time.
  • You will also have the option of selecting material from a very limited browsing collection of new books, magazines, DVDs and music that is at the Circulation Desk behind the shields. Patrons should not try to pull materials off any shelves--please ask staff to do this.
  • After your transaction is completed, you will be directed to exit from the building by going up the stairs to the Kirkman room and out the emergency exit. At the exit is another touchless hand sanitizing station that you are welcome to use.

What NOT to expect:

  • Any browsing/access to the collection other than the display at the Circulation Desk. The Children's Room, Lower Level, Kirkman Room stacks, Art Room and bathrooms are all closed to the public.
  • Reading newspapers or magazines on-site.
  • Using the public computer stations or using your own laptop/devices inside the building. Patrons will not be able to linger inside the building after their circulation transaction is over.
  • Photocopying, printing and scanning. We will soon be offering these services, but not at this point.
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but you will only be able to make requests, ask questions and choose materials from the browsing shelf. Staff will not retrieve materials from the stacks for patrons. Requested materials will be entered as holds and processed accordingly.

Important safety notes:

  • As we are not using the wheelchair lift at this time, and exiting the building will require climbing up a short set of stairs to the Kirkman Room and down stairs from the Emergency Exit, we ask that patrons with limited mobility use our Curbside or Homebound services. We apologize for this situation and will do our best to get you your materials as conveniently as possible.
  • Safety is paramount; if a patron refuses to comply with our safety protocols, including wearing a mask, using the hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing, we will be forced to close the Library to public access again. We ask that you use our Curbside service if you are unwilling or unable to follow our protocol. Thank you!



Our Curbside Pickup service is continuing, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You will be called when your materials are ready, and you can come any time that day during service hours.

You can read our earlier letter detailing our Curbside service HERE .


Our book drop is open 24-7, and a cart is also available for returns weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. if you do not feel comfortable using the book drop. Staff are wiping the book drop handle with sanitizer regularly, but patrons should always remember to sanitize or wash their hands as soon as possible after coming in contact with communal surfaces.

We ask that patrons returning items wear masks and maintain social distancing, waiting others to finish their returns/pickups before proceeding with their own. We also ask patrons NOT to drop off book donations--the Friends are not yet working in the building, and we cannot process and store donations at this time.

Don't forget to sign up for our weekly eNewsletter so you can find out the latest news, updates to our services, virtual programming, readers’ advisory and more. We look forward to seeing the smile in your eyes and saying hello in person!


Antonia Stephens
Library Director