With all the essential precautions now in place, Wilton Library is able to begin welcoming people through its doors for personal services by appointment only, starting on Monday, Sept. 28. The library building will be open for in-person “express services” Mondays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for people who wish to browse and borrow new books, Quick Pick selections, book group books, large print books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs and puzzles. The Children’s Library, Teen Services, and adult internet computers also will be available by appointment during these times.

The in-house personal express service times are an addition to the drive-thru window schedule, Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., which has been open since June, and the comprehensive 24/7 Digital Library that has been fully accessible since before the pandemic.

To schedule a 20-minute long appointment or a one-hour adult computer session, patrons must call the following departments:

  • Adult Reference and Computer Sessions:  203.762.6350
  • Children’s Library:  203.762.6336
  • Teen Services:  203.762.6342.

Reference services including reading suggestions continue to be available by emailing the reference desk, and requests for technical help with digital services may be emailed to the reference technology contact, or patrons may reach the reference desk by calling 203.762.6350.

New Wilton residents are welcomed to call 203.762.6334 to set up an appointment to receive their new Wilton Library cards. The application may be completed in advance on the library’s website.

“We are delighted to be welcoming people back into the library,” Elaine Tai-Lauria, the executive director of Wilton Library. “We have been providing services and many virtual programs throughout the pandemic, and now it will be so good to see our patrons inside the library and working with them in person versus virtually.”

As the largest public service establishment in Wilton Center, there are certain protocols that have been put in place for the safety of patrons and staff alike. The library is now certified to open the building following adherence to prescribed state and local guidelines. These include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, service desk protective glass shields and partitions, and a touchless temperature check station at which patrons will stop before entry. Patrons and staff will be required to wear masks that cover their noses and mouths. These protocols are in addition to hand sanitizers throughout the building, and a schedule of regular disinfecting and cleaning.

Tai-Lauria hopes that the public will do its part to make sure the precautions are followed. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the library building open. We are therefore asking patrons to be mindful of signs and directions in the library, to maintain at least six feet for social distancing, to wash or sanitize hands frequently, follow staff instructions, and to please stay home if they are not feeling well.”

Changes that patrons will notice are that meeting, conference, and study rooms, study carrels and tables, the Reading Room, and the Innovation Station will remain closed for now, and patron seating has been removed. Although newspapers and print magazines are not available for reading in the library, print magazines can be reserved in the catalog and borrowed, and eMagazines can be downloaded through RB Digital with a Wilton Library card. Toys and games have been removed from the Children’s Library and computers will not be available in the Children’s Library or Teen Services to ensure safety for all.

The library will continue its robust slate of virtual programming for children, teens, and adults. New fall programming can be found on the library’s website under Events. Registration is required for all programming so that Zoom invitation links can be sent to participants in advance of the sessions.

Patrons can continue to place items on reserve and pick them up at the drive-thru window during open hours (Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m), or in-person with an express appointment (Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Returned items still must be deposited in the blue Returns Bin in the library parking lot. Items will continue to be disinfected and quarantined for five days before being checked in. Patrons should allow six days for their accounts to be updated. Book donations are not being accepted at this time.

“Our greatest wish is to open the library with full services. We are proceeding conservatively while continuing to monitor safety guidelines to make sure our procedures and protocols are working. As we see how things are progressing, we’ll determine which additional services we can offer to the public.  Most importantly, we look forward to welcoming patrons into the library, and if they are not quite ready to venture in we are continuing to provide the drive-thru window service and Digital Library along with a wide variety of virtual programs,” Tai-Lauria added.

Wilton  Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd.