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Details on the library closure for March, 2020

With the heightened concern about the potential COVID-19 outbreak and Governor Baker's declaration of a State of Emergency, the Town of Orange is taking the following steps to protect its residents and workers. The situation remains fluid and we will continue to Monitor and update as appropriate based on the latest news concerning the outbreak and guidance from the CDC.

Starting Monday, March 16, All Town offices will be closed including the Library.

Town Offices will operate and work their normal hours.

You will be able to conduct business by contacting the departments by email and phone.

All library programs for March 16-27 are cancelled, and will be rescheduled for a later date.

If you have any questions, or need assistance please contact library director Jessica Magelaner at 978-544-2495 X101 or director@orangelib.org

Q. Are the schools closed too?
A. Yes, per Governor Baker's order, all schools are closed through April 7.

Q. When will town buildings reopen?
A. When the town administrator and select board think it's safe; keep an eye on https://www.townoforange.org for updates.

Q. I have books that are due! I have holds waiting for me! What should I do?
A. You can drop books off in the book drop in front of the Wheeler Library at any time. If you have items that you need to renew, or want to pick up your holds, please contact the library director at 978-544-2495 X101. She can deliver books to your home or bring them out to you in the parking lot, but in order to limit contact, deliveries will be by phone appointment only. Staff have been instructed to not let anyone enter the building while we are closed. (We'll make exceptions for emergencies, but wanting a book is not an emergency, though we definitely understand how it feels to be stuck at home with nothing to read!)

Q. If staff are there anyway, why not just have the building open like normal?
A. By having staff here, we can keep up with background work, so that we're ready to reopen as soon as we're given the all-clear. Closing buildings to the public during a health emergency helps slow the spread of the virus by limiting contact.

Q. Other towns are staying open! Orange is just overreacting!
A. That's not a question, but we're already hearing it from a lot of people, so we'll post a reply here anyway. Other town governments are doing what they feel is best for their community, and Orange's administration is doing what they feel is best for us. Every town has a different demographic with different vulnerabilities, and this is the best solution for Orange right now.

Q. Where can I find updates on what's going on with the town?
A. The best place to find updates is on the town website at https://www.townoforange.org.

Q. I saw on Facebook that-
A. We're going to stop you right there. There is a lot of good information on Facebook, but there's a lot of gossip and speculation right now too, and it can be hard to tell the difference when you're trying to educate yourself. If you need answers on what's going on with the town, the best way to get your information is to check on the town website, or call town hall or the library directly.

Q. I keep reading stuff about "STEP" and "flattening the curve" - what's all that about?
A. STEP is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that allows U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate; if you need to travel abroad now, it's really important to enroll your trip so that your friends and family have a reliable way to get in touch with you and keep track of you. Click here to learn how to do that. Flattening the curve refers to actions people can take to limit the infection rate over time and why these actions are so important; NPR has a really well-written article about it here.

Q. That's helpful, but I have more questions; what are some good resources?
A. We recommend the Center for Disease Control, Mass.gov, and the Franklin Regional County of Governments COVID-19 Resources page.

Q. All good info, but none of it answers the most pressing question we all have; why is everyone suddenly hoarding so much toilet paper?
A. We wish we knew.

Stay safe Orange, and keep washing your hands - we'll all get through this!