News, Services

An Update on COVID-19

At Norwich Public Library we are tracking information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in consideration of the needs of staff, volunteers, and patrons.

We strive to be aware of all current federal, state, and town directives. On March 3 we posted our internal practices and precautions, with updates made on March 10.

Regarding programming

After great consideration, our weekly Story Time and Lego Tuesday programs have been postponed until further notice. As of March 12 all other events will continue as scheduled, and our community room is available to outside bookings with the understanding that our internal practices and precautions are to be followed by organizers.

Please watch this space for our decisions regarding the continuation of our programming. Our decisions will be informed by the CDC’s interim guidance on events, but also our profound respect and consideration for our community, particularly the most vulnerable among us.

The library will continue to offer and leverage resources for the benefit of our community. We will continue to provide free and open access to books, public computers and Wi-Fi, and the recommendations and assistance of our staff. Our online databases and e-Books and e-Audio can be accessed at all times outside the library’s walls. If you have questions about materials that can be accessed remotely or would like to set up your online account, please do contact us.

We are here for all. Please reach out with your questions and concerns. 

If you or someone you know wants access to reliable information about coronavirus:

On March 5, the library sponsored an informational session on COVID-19 with area health professionals and the recording is now available through video-on-demand via public access television (CATV). This presentation contextualized what is known about coronavirus within the history of infectious diseases and answered audience questions. 

For reliable sources on evolving information, the library recommends the Vermont Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. These agencies explain how to take precautions against the virus, answer frequently asked questions, offer travel advice, and vet media resources.   

If you would like to create online accounts to replace any of your everyday interactions:

All are welcome to speak with a librarian about their tech help questions. At our Tuesday Tech Help sessions, we can assist in setting up online banking, downloading video conferencing or skype, setting up FaceTime or WhatsApp on your phone, or identifying any other digital application that may or may not take the place of an in-person interaction. We can answer your questions one-on-one or over the phone. 

If you are concerned about stigma or unverified facts about coronavirus being shared on the Internet:

The Center for Disease Control stresses the importance of sharing factual information and speaking out against negative behaviors or assumptions. Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of race or ethnicity. 

If you are concerned about access to health care:

The library can provide access to resources to help you enroll in Medicaid and determine your health care eligibility through Vermont Health Connect. On March 6, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issued an insurance bulletin that instructs all health insurers in Vermont to cover all medically necessary COVID-19 testings with no co-payment. 

If you are feeling the effects of coronavirus-related stress on yourself, your family, or your neighbors: 

If you are a parent or caregiver, the Center for Disease Control provides guidance for how to talk to children during an emergency. The Center also provides guidance on stress management and coping for health care givers, first responders, and those with preexisting mental health conditions.

If you could use a break from the news:

Librarians are here to recommend books or movies that inspire joy or offer any responsible distraction.