Please visit your library branch's website for the latest hours and services. Call us or contact us at if you have any questions regarding library service during this time. For more information about the libraries' phased re-entry plans, please click here  

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Message from the Director

Valerie Bell HeadshotDear Library patron, I’d like to offer an update on the operational status of the Athens Regional Library System. In an effort to support our communities and local officials as we slow the spread of the coronavirus, our buildings will not be opening to the public on Monday, April 27, 2020.  However, while our facilities are currently closed, our essential services are and have been available to the public through our virtual presence and website.  The nature and activities of a public library require us to carefully consider and plan services in this pandemic environment and we do not want to risk the health of our patrons, our staff, or our communities. 

We are developing re-entry plans utilizing recommended guidelines from the CDC, OSHA, local, and state government, as well as resources from professional library associations. 
Our intention is to institute a phased approach that will broaden library services while still maintaining all safety procedures.  We will continue to update the public as these plans are solidified.  The library staff and boards of trustees appreciate the patience, support, and understanding of our patrons and communities as we complete the design for a safe reopening. 

The last several weeks have been busy as our staff has adapted to continue to serve the public while our buildings are closed.  Here are some of the things we are doing to bring a sense of normalcy to our communities by increasing our libraries’ virtual presence:

  • Our Children’s Services staff are working on plans for the annual summer reading program including programs and activities. 
  • Additional online programs and activities for children, teens, and adults are in development.  
  • Our Information Services staff and web team have published a trusted list of COVID-19 resources that can be found on our website.  
  • Both and Foundation Directory Online, normally only available in the library facilities, are now accessible through our website.
  • We now offer an interactive Reference Chat feature on our website, which is staffed by librarians Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a great way to get answers about your library account, help with accessing online resources, and more.
  • We have created a library FAQ page, which is updated weekly.  
  • People who don’t already have library cards can now apply for free digital library cards online, which offers access to our full digital collection!
  • We continue to expand our collection of electronic books,  electronic audiobooks, and electronic magazines. This collection of materials has more than doubled in these last five weeks. 
  • We are exploring the creation of tutorials on tech tips such as how to use RBDigital, EReadsKids, and more. 
  • Our leadership team continues to coordinate with local and state officials and has begun planning our procedures for a safe reopening of our facilities.

We would like you to know that we are still here virtually to serve and support you, your families, and our communities until we open our doors again. Please connect with your local libraries on social media for more frequent communications and updates.  

In the meantime, please be safe, follow the instructions of your local government, and know that we look forward to seeing and serving you again soon!

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GALILEO: Georgia's Virtual Library

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