Libraries should be ‘essential’

To the editor:

I believe public libraries should be considered an essential business and be re-opened as quickly as possible. Schools are closed, and parents throughout our region need the educational tools that libraries have in ample supply to help them educate their kids — books. In addition, lots of retirees and others who are now required to stay home would love to check out materials as well. Seeking all information online can quickly become a chore and tiring after a while. They too would benefit greatly by having access to the books and other resources that libraries provide.

As a means of keeping people safe, libraries can post their most recent acquisitions online as well as open their catalogs to make it easy for people to determine what they desire. Then operate the library similar to several other small essential businesses; people call in or email their request and a time is agreed upon when they can pick up the items that they wish to check out. Libraries all have outside book drops for the returned books, DVDs and what have you. Any items returned are placed in a box and let sit fallow for at least 72 hours giving any virus time to expire before they are processed back into the proper shelves.

As for books not available at the local library that have come from another library, that service may take time to figure out. In the meantime, the libraries have no shortage within their walls.

Naj Wikoff

Keene Valley