Library by Appointment

Updated September 14, 2020

"Library By Appointment" is now available from 10 am – 3 pm Monday – Friday at the Berlin, Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Pocomoke and Snow Hill branches. On Saturdays, appointments are available at the Berlin, Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Pocomoke branches from 9:30 – 11:30 am. Appointments can be made to use a computer (45 minute session), to have photocopies made (limit of 20 original documents), or for library card registration.  Please call your branch to make your reservation. Right now we are asking that one appointment per person per week be made.

  • Berlin - 410-641-0650
  • Ocean City - 410-524-1818
  • Ocean Pines - 410-208-4014
  • Pocomoke - 410-957-0878
  • Snow Hill - 410-632-3495

The library cannot guarantee the cleanliness of materials or equipment as public libraries are high touch facilities.  The risk of entering a public facility is your own.  We will clean high touch surfaces every hour as recommended by the CDC, however the availability of cleaning supplies is limited.

At this time, no browsing of the stacks is allowed.  Contactless pick up of library materials will continue and is available Monday – Saturday at all branch locations.

Depending on the number of cases in Worcester County, we may be forced to return to previous restrictions, and we apologize in advance should this become necessary.

To maintain a safe environment for patrons and staff:

  • All staff and patrons are required to wear face coverings.
  • 6-foot social distancing is required
  • The Library will have limited capacity with only a certain number of people allowed in the building at a time
  • Hand sanitizer is available for staff and patrons to use as they enter and leave the building.
  • Computers and table surfaces will be disinfected after each use.
  • Materials may only be returned to the exterior bookdrops to enable proper quarantine.
  • If you have a fever or are not feeling well, please do not come to the library.

Library staff will continue to revisit guidelines as the State of Maryland progresses further into the Roadmap to Recovery.

At this time, the following services are not yet available:

  • Browsing of collections.
  • Newspapers.
  • One-on-one computer help.
  • Fax services.
  • Meeting room reservations.
  • Children's area toys and games.
  • Receiving donations
  • Water fountains

Virtual programs, including Summer Reading, will continue.  Please check our online calendar, https://worcesterlibrary.libcal.com/ for details.

FAQs

How do I register for an appointment?

Call your branch to make a reservation. 

  • Berlin - 410-641-0650
  • Ocean City - 410-524-1818
  • Ocean Pines - 410-208-4014
  • Pocomoke - 410-957-0878
  • Snow Hill - 410-632-3495

Right now we are asking that one appointment per person per week be made.Library staff will not be able to provide assistance on the computers. As you can imagine, it is pretty hard to see the computer screen from 6 ft. away!  We will do our best to help with minor problems, but if you need advanced help we highly recommend you bring someone to help (they will also need an appointment.)

Children’s books are not available for browsing and the children’s area is closed to the public. Children will need to remain by your side at all times, and library staff will not be available to supervise them.  Children over 2 years old are also required to wear coverings.

Can I just walk up?

No, we ask that you call to make an appointment.  We are making every effort to keep everyone safe so we ask that you do not come to the library to make an appointment in person.

Is it safe to enter facilities at this time?

The risk of entering a public facility is your own. The library cannot guarantee the cleanliness of materials or equipment as public libraries are high touch facilities.  We will clean high touch surfaces every hour as recommended by the CDC, however the availability of cleaning supplies is limited.

What services are restricted right now?

Staff assistance is very limited during this phase as we will follow CDC recommendations to physically distance for our safety and yours.  During this time we will not be hosting in person programs, please continue to tune into our virtual programs.  Meeting rooms are also not available because we have set them up as a quarantine zone for incoming library material.

What if someone tests positive in the library?

At the recommendation of the Worcester County Health Department, we are asking all visitors to sign a screening questionnaire.  As an added protection, a form will be available which allows the library to save your visit information in the event a staff member tests positive or a public health official informs the library a positive case reported being at the library on a certain day or time.  This would allow the library to release your information to public health officials so that you can be contacted as a precaution. You do not have to sign this form to enter the library. This is a precautionary option as an added health security for you.

Can I return materials?

Yes.  All materials must be returned to outdoor book drops to enable proper quarantine.  We are a fine free facility, so nothing checked out at our library will have fines.

Can I get holds from other libraries?

Beginning September 9, library materials can be ordered any branch in the Worcester County Library system, or from any library on the Eastern Shore, to be delivered to your home branch. Interlibrary loan from other libraries in Maryland will resume later this month. To request materials, log into your account, search the library catalog for the titles you want, and click "Place Request." You will receive an email when the materials are available, and you can call us to make an appointment to pick them up.

Why can’t patrons come in to browse the collection?

Because public libraries are high touch facilities, we have made the decision to only allow patrons to access areas that can be cleaned easily. Contactless pick-up orders can be placed by phone or online.

What happens next for the library?

We have developed a phased reopening plan that allows us to increase or decrease service as necessary based on pandemic trends.  We will continue to follow CDC recommendations as well as state and county orders.