Bethlehem Library Notes for Thursday, April 9, 2020

— Photo by Michael Farley

Sunset over the library: The Bethlehem Public Library remains closed until further notice in response to the worldwide coronavirus emergency, but many of its services and programming are available online.

This is a message from Geoffrey Kirkpatrick, the director of Bethlehem Public Library.

Typically, in this column, we would be sharing information about the upcoming budget vote and trustee election, as well as our scheduled programs and events. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the worldwide coronavirus emergency, we will focus instead on what we offer online and beyond our building. 

We think these services will continue to grow in importance, allowing us to meet this community’s needs in a way that adheres to physical distancing guidelines even after the library is able to reopen its doors.

Please know that the staff at Bethlehem Public Library continues to work diligently for you. We have moved to quickly add online video programs to allow kids to see their librarians reading stories, and we are developing new ways to engage with our patrons virtually.

Our staff has also compiled and vetted timely information on our website to help individuals and our community bounce back from adversity. 

In order to take away any concerns about fines, we have shifted due dates on all materials and suspended fines until after the library reopens. 

The library budget vote and trustee election has been moved back at least until June. This is a developing situation, and we will continue to work closely with the school district to keep you informed.

Even in the midst of this current crisis, we continue to look ahead, integrating new lessons into our long range plan as we work toward serving you better, long into the future. Stay safe and be well.

Coronavirus resources

Feeling overwhelmed with all the coronavirus information out there? Struggling to find the aid your family needs to weather this storm? We’re here to help. The library has compiled a list of trusted local and national resources for you in one convenient place. Go to

Online Poetry Month contest

Celebrate National Poetry Month with us and channel your inner muse by participating in our online poetry contest. Go the traditional route or try something a little different — like picture poetry. Poets of all ages are welcome (and there will be prizes). Go to for details. 

Book discussions on Goodreads

If you are itching to talk about books with your fellow readers, then you’re in luck! We’ve moved our popular librarian-moderated book discussion groups to Goodreads. Head over to and click the Goodreads link at the top to join in.

Virtual board meetings

Our commitment to organizational transparency continues, even as group gathering guidelines and building closures pose a challenge to holding our monthly board of trustees’ meetings. Please be assured the Monday, April 20, meeting will take place at its scheduled time of 6 p.m. and remain open to the public virtually even if our board members are not able to meet in person.

Please visit our Board of Trustees webpage  ( for more information.

Got questions?

Reach out by email at and staff will assist you. You can also call the library at 518-439-9314 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we are able, but please allow additional time for questions asked via voicemail.