Answers to a few questions we’ve heard lately regarding the Library during bad weather:
Q: Who determines closing the Library because of bad weather?
A: As a County department, Arlington Public Library follows County closure decisions as made by the County Manager during weekdays. On weekends, the Library Director can decide to close the system working in consultation with the County Manager. Even if the system remains open, the Library Director may decide to close a specific location because of weather-related issues.
Keep in mind that even after opening for the day, the Library system or specific locations may be closed early because of worsening conditions. Announcements will be made to patrons accordingly.
Q: Even if the Library is open, how might services be affected?
A: If Arlington Public Schools are closed (as was the case on Feb. 3 and Feb. 5), children’s programming is canceled for the day across the Library system because of concern for public safety. The goal is to keep people with children from traveling in bad conditions.
Please use caution when making a trip to the Library in questionable weather. Library walks and parking lots are treated by the County and crews must deal with critical access points first before they can reach Library locations.
Q: What’s the best way to find out if the Library is closed for bad weather?
A: The Library homepage should have status information in the calendar soon after a decision is made. We also post the information here on the Library news blog and on the Library Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Library’s outgoing phone message system should also be updated with closure information. The County’s website also will include Library closure information and local news media including WTOP-FM and WAMU-FM carry Arlington closure announcements.
Q: What should I do with Library materials that are due or overdue and the Library is closed because of bad weather?
A: Please hold on to materials rather than trek out during a storm. Be safe. You won’t be fined for those days that the Library is closed for bad weather.
Also, our return drop slots have limited capacity, especially when staff is not around to empty them. If slots are full, please don’t attempt to add materials as the result will likely be damaged items.
Q: What does the Library have to offer when its buildings are closed?
A: The Library’s eCollection is vast and growing. From the comfort of your own home and computer, you can download audio books and text-based books, do all sorts of research–even learn a language. Any time. All you need is your library card number. And there’s no trip to return things when you’re done. Miss an Arlington Public Library author talk by the likes of Thomas Friedman or Annette Gordon-Reed? Now’s your chance to catch up.