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Plaistow Public Library
Plaistow Public Library
85 Main Street - Plaistow, NH 03865
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Plaistow Public Library

The Books Will See You Now!

Library re-opening Monday, July 6

We are thrilled to announce Phase 2 of the Plaistow Public Library re-opening. We have missed you a bunch!

Our hours for now will remain:
  • Monday - Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am to 1 pm
We will be inviting up to 20 people at a time to come inside and browse our collections, check out materials, and use the computers.

Building use will be limited to one session per day (1 hr 45 min), starting at 9 am and every 2 hours thereafter (11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm). Please plan to arrive near the start of each time slot if more time in the building is important to you. Staff are using the last 15 min of each time slot to conduct basic cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

Access to 5 desktop computers will be available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. Call the Library at 382-6011 to book a computer session.

A couple important things to keep in mind when visiting the library:
  • Per Town of Plaistow and Library requirements, masks must be worn at all times inside the building.
  • Please maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from staff and other patrons.
See below for other important information and Frequently Asked Questions.

We understand that this new way of serving you is not what you’re used to when visiting the Library. We don’t like it any more than you do and eagerly look forward to a return to “full normal”. Thank you for your cooperation as we do our best to resume in-person services as safely as possible.

We are so excited to re-open the doors and see all of you again!
The novel coronavirus has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, federal, state, and local governments, along with many health agencies, have recommended physical distancing and even prohibited the congregation of groups of people.

It is impossible for any public facility to guarantee that it is 100% safe from infectious agents such as the coronavirus. The Library has put in place preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, the Library cannot guarantee that any visitor will not become infected with COVID-19.

Only those willing to accept an increased risk of infection and its consequences should enter the Library building and use its services and collections.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q1/ What Is the Library Doing to Keep Everyone Safe?

Q2/ Can I Reserve a Time to Visit the Library?

Q3/ Is There a Way to Tell If There's Room in the Library?

Q4/ Are Library Materials Safe to Check Out?

Q5/ How Does Computer Access Work?

Q6/ What’s Happening in the Children’s Area?

Q7/ Will the Meeting Spaces and Study Rooms Be Available?

Q8/ Are the Restrooms Available?

Q9/ How Will Returning Items Work?

Q10/ Are You Offering Any Programs in the Building?

Q11/ Can I Request Items From Other Libraries?

Q12/ I Have Late Fees or Other Charges on My Account

Q13/ When Will Things Be Back to Normal? (no time restrictions, full programs, etc.)

Q14/ I Have Other Questions!

Q1/ What Is the Library Doing to Keep Everyone Safe?
We're in close contact with the Town's Health Department and following all relevant State and CDC guidelines. Some additional measures we are taking include:
  • All staff are required to complete a screening questionnaire before starting work and will be sent home if they report any of the recognized symptoms of COVID-19
  • Staff are practicing physical distancing and washing/ sanitizing hands frequently
  • Staff at the front desks and in public areas will wear masks
  • One-way entry into and egress from the building
  • Placing markers to reinforce the importance of physical distancing
  • Making hand sanitizer and wipes widely available throughout the building
  • Installing plastic shields at the main and children’s checkout desks
  • Putting away toys and other children’s items that are difficult to keep clean
  • Reduced the number of public computers available to provide appropriate physical distancing
  • Quarantining all returned materials for 3 days
  • Installing higher efficiency, hospital-grade filters in our HVAC system
  • Increasing the number of outside air exchanges
Q2/ Can I Reserve a Time to Visit the Library?
A reservation isn't necessary. To date we've always had room for our visitors. We'll adjust our procedures if circumstances change.

Q3/ Is There a Way to Tell If There's Room in the Library?
Yes. Call us at 382-6011, or if you're already at the library, look for the small container of Library Passes outside the southern entrance. If a stick (Pass) is available, there's room!

Note that all visitors will still be asked to leave the building at the end of their time slot (10:45 am, 12:45 pm, 2:45 pm, or 5 pm). Come at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, or 3 pm to maximize your time in the building.

Q4/ Are Library Materials Safe to Check Out?
Safety is a relative term, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. To the best of our knowledge and the latest scientific guidance, books, audiobooks, etc. are not particularly hospitable environments for the coronavirus.

In addition, all returned materials are quarantined for at least 3 days before being checked out. Other patrons may have handled a particular item before you check it out, however. We encourage you to quarantine items at home for 3 days if an extra layer of safety is important to you.

Note that some cleaning products may result in damage to library materials and corresponding damage fees. Please ask library staff for guidance if you are unsure if a product is effective or may cause damage.

Q5/ How Does Computer Access Work?
Make an appointment by calling us at 382-6011 or take your chances as a walk-in for first come/ first served service.

Q6/ What’s Happening in the Children’s Area?
Children are welcome, but please help them maintain distance from other patrons and library staff. Children over the age of 3 should also wear masks.

Children’s programs will continue to be held online for the time being. Also note that the children’s computers and most toys have been put in storage to maintain a sanitary environment.

Q7/ Will the Meeting Spaces and Study Rooms Be Available?
Yes, at reduced occupancy, with appropriate physical distancing (1 person in the Study Rooms, 3 in the History Room, and 10 in the Nelson Room).

Q8/ Are the Restrooms Available?
Yes. Restrooms are cleaned once daily in the morning. Door handles are sprayed with disinfectant every 2 hours.

We suggest visitors use the restrooms only when necessary and limit occupancy to one individual at a time (unless part of the same household). Please knock before entering! We also strongly encourage individuals to keep their masks on and to thoroughly wash their hands after use.

Q9/ How Will Returning Items Work?
Please return all materials to the library’s outside bookdrop rather than inside the building.

All returned library materials will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours. Only after quarantine will they be checked in, so don’t worry if they still appear on your account for a few days.

Q10/ Are You Offering Any Programs in the Building?
Not yet. We’re closely monitoring public health conditions to determine when it’s prudent to begin offering in-person programs again.

Q11/ Can I Request Items From Other Libraries?
Most items from both the Sandown and Atkinson libraries are available for pickup from their respective buildings. Contact them at 887-3428 and 362-5234, respectively, for additional specific instructions.

You can search for and place holds on their items in our shared catalog:

Items from other NH libraries will be available once the State Library has restarted its van service. The Library always welcomes purchase suggestions, however, so please let us know if our collection is not meeting your needs.

Q12/ I Have Late Fees or Other Charges on My Account
All three Coop libraries discontinued overdue fees in March when we closed our buildings. At least for the time being, fines are not being charged for new items being checked out.

If you have pre-existing charges from before we closed, call us at 382-6011 and we’ll do our best to work with you. We charge fines for lost or damaged books only because they’re needed to repair or replace materials so others can also use them.

Q13/ When Will Things Be Back to Normal? (no time restrictions, full programs, etc.)
Our service levels are determined by a variety of continuously changing public health factors and our ability to respond to them. This makes it difficult to predict when our services will change.

Please check our website for updates or contact the Director (Cab Vinton) or Board of Trustees (Jim Peck, Chair) for questions about we are approaching difficult decisions in an uncertain environment. Feedback is always welcome!

Rest assured that the Library is already working on plans for the next phase of reopening and we look forward to serving you further in the future.

Q14/ I Have Other Questions!
Call us at 382-6011 or email