Important Announcements from the Charles County Public Library

November 11, 2020

CCPL Operations Update

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Charles County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss the new emergency order from Governor Hogan that reduces indoor dining to 50 percent capacity at restaurants. They also reviewed public health advisories that urged the public to refrain from attending indoor gatherings of more than 25 people and to limit out-of-state travel to essential trips. Commissioners voted to adhere to the Governor’s latest executive orders without additional restrictions at this time.

What does this mean for library operations?

All library buildings remain temporarily closed, but we will continue to provide FREE online services via our virtual branch www.ccplonline.org, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Curbside Pickup @ CCPL will remain available. Please visit us online to learn more about our full services, view the schedule of virtual programs and discover the free resources available to assist you while you’re at home. 

The Mobile Library and Outreach Van will remain open and operating on a limited basis. However, we will continue to monitor health and safety conditions, and will make changes as necessary. To view the list of services available on our Mobile Library vehicles, or to find a stop near you, please visit our Mobile Library Information Center

All library book drops remain open at all of our branches, and are accessible 24/7. However, if you are unable or unwilling to come to one of our book drops, all fines will be waived until further notice. There will be no penalty for continuing to hold on to your materials. Please do not return mobile hotspots to the Book Drops. You may keep using those until our buildings reopen.

Commitment to Safety

All CCPL staff members are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. All library materials will continue to be quarantined for 48 hours, and all services and exchanges of materials will be contactless. All staff follow and practice enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols that have been in place in our branches and Mobile Library vehicles since Phase 1 of our Reopening process. 

County officials have strongly encouraged the community to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding high-risk activities and large crowds, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face mask. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has possible exposure to COVID-19 should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is also available at Regency Furniture Stadium every Tuesday and appointments can be scheduled online.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ccplonline for the latest updates on our operations.

November 4, 2020

CCPL Reopening Phase 3 – The Mobile Library is Back on the Road!

The path to reopening CCPL continues! We have been moving forward with our reopening plan in a carefully thought out, phased approach keeping the safety of our patrons and our staff at the top of our priority list. We will officially move to Phase 3 – Deploying the Mobile Library on November 4, 2020. As we enter Phase 3, it’s important to remember that it’s not “back to normal,” but rather a gradual process of returning and discovering what are temporary, long-term, or even permanent changes to the way the library operates and serves our community. Our goal is to continue to create opportunities for the community to engage, discover and learn, even when we cannot physically be in the library.

We continue to work closely with Charles County government and health officials to ensure we are following all guidelines and providing a safe library environment for our patrons and staff as we start to reopen our facilities and offer more in-person services.

When you visit the Mobile Library or Outreach Van in the community, you’ll notice some changes in the way our staff interacts with our patrons, as well as new processes, protocols and service offerings. All staff members are required to wear masks and practice social distancing and we kindly ask that all visitors do the same, for our safety and yours. All library materials will continue to be quarantined for 48 hours, and all services and exchanges of materials will be contactless. 

On Wednesday, November 4, 2020 the Mobile Library and Outreach Van will begin making scheduled stops throughout Charles County. Each vehicle will serve as a mobile hotspot on wheels, providing FREE WiFi for unlimited patrons within a 100ft. radius of each vehicle. For more information about the specific services available at each stop and for a full schedule of stops, visit our Mobile Library Information page

All library book drops remain open at all of our branches, and are accessible 24/7. However, if you are unable or unwilling to come to one of our book drops, all fines will be waived until further notice. There will be no penalty for continuing to hold on to your materials. Please do not return mobile hotspots to the Book Drops. You may keep using those until our buildings reopen.

We will continue to provide online services via our virtual branch www.ccplonline.org. Please visit us online to learn more about our services, virtual programs and free resources available to assist you remotely. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ccplonline for the latest updates. 

Thank you for supporting CCPL.
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director

October 31, 2020

Library Materials Quarantine Update

The Charles County Public Library has been following guidance from the Maryland State Library Resource Center (SLRC) on the handling of and quarantine periods for returned library materials. SLRC based their guidelines on the Battelle REALM study. Recently, Maryland Department of Health (MDH) was asked to review the REALM study results to make a recommendation to Maryland libraries on materials quarantine periods. MDH recommended that “library materials should be quarantined in a clean, dry location for at least 48 hours prior to being returned to general circulation.”  

In light of this new information and a health department reminder that experts have not recommended quarantining or even additional cleansing or wipe down of grocery items, CCPL is changing the quarantine period for materials returned to our locations to 48 hours. A 48-hour quarantine period will allow us to make library materials available to our customers more quickly while continuing to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort. 

We are committed to the safety of our staff and patrons. All staff members are required to wear masks and practice social distancing while in our facilities. All staff follow and practice enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols that have been in place since Phase 1 of our Reopening process. Quarantined library materials will continue to be isolated in our branches and stored according to the SLRC and MDH guidance. Our buildings remain temporarily closed, but Curbside Pickup as well as Mobile Library and Outreach Van services have started and remain contactless.  

Click here to review the MDH guidance for Maryland Libraries

Please note that quarantine periods in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties may vary and this might result in delays on items you have placed on hold coming from those counties. 

No items in quarantine will accrue fines or negatively affect your account

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to make changes to our operations based on expert guidance from state and local officials. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our patrons and staff, so we will continue to make updates as needed. Please contact us if you have questions. 

October 4, 2020

What is a Mystery Grab Bag?

We know you’ve been missing browsing the library’s shelves, so we’ve brought you the next best thing! To bring you more of the books and DVDs you love, we’ve created Mystery Grab Bags. These grab bags are available through Curbside Pickup. So, what’s in a Mystery Grab Bag? Your grab bag will contain a selection of books or DVDs randomly selected by our staff. You can choose one from the categories below:

  • Children’s Picture Books (8 items)
  • Entertainment DVDs (10 items) Please note: This grab bag can include a variety of genres across multiple age ranges.
  • New Adult Fiction Books (3 items)
  • Young Adult Fiction Books (3 items)

How do you pick up and select your Mystery Grab Bag? 

You can pick up a Mystery Grab Bag through Curbside Pickup @ CCPL. Schedule a Curbside appointment and then select the category of your grab bag from the Mystery Grab Bag drop down menu. Mystery Grab Bag items will be checked out to you on the day of your pickup appointment. Your grab bags can be picked up with other items you’ve placed on hold, or you can make an appointment to just pick up a grab bag. 

When you receive your Mystery Grab Bag, review the items to make sure they are a good fit for you and your family. Any items you do not want, simply drop them in our book returns before you leave the library. 

For specific requests, browse our catalog, call one of our branches, or go to our website to live chat with one of our staff members for recommendations.

September 9, 2020

A continuation of a study conducted by the REALM Project has released the findings from the latest round of testing by Batelle labs on how the SARS-CoV-2 virus survives on typical library materials. In Test 4, Batelle measured how well the virus survives on library materials that are stacked, as opposed to measuring the virus on single, unstacked items, which is what was done in past tests. The new results show that trace amounts of the virus are detectable on library materials of all types for up to 7 days when materials are stacked. As a result of these new findings, starting today Charles County Public Library along with St. Mary’s County, Calvert County will quarantine all book drop materials for 7 days once they are returned. This is an increase from quarantining discs (DVDs/Blu-rays/CDs) for 5 days and books and other materials for 4 days. Any items currently in quarantine will be extended to 7 days from when they were put in quarantine. Don’t worry, this will not accrue fines or negatively affect your account. Since we are holding items for quarantine longer, it might take longer for items to appear returned in your account. Our book drops remain open for you to return your materials, and our Curbside Pickup service is still available.

Thank you for your flexibility as we continue to learn more about the virus, and how it survives on library materials. Please contact us if you have questions.

August 19, 2020 – Materials Quarantine Update

The results of the latest REALM Project test results, which measures the length of time the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains on various common library materials, reveal that the virus can remain detectable on DVDs and CDs for up to 5 days. (These are the discs themselves, not the cases.) As a result, beginning Wednesday (8/19) and until further notice, DVDs, Blu-rays and CD audiobooks (along with CDs returned from other counties) will be quarantined for five days (120 hrs). Books and other library materials will continue to be quarantined for 4 days (96 hrs). No fines will accrue on items in quarantine. Due to these longer quarantine times, items may appear in your library account longer, but there will be no penalty or fine. As soon as the item is processed, it will be removed from your account.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We closely follow health and cleaning mandates and guidelines, and will adjust our practices and procedures as necessary in order to continue to provide the safest environment possible for our staff and patrons.

August 5, 2020 – La Plata Branch Closing

Due to a power outage, the La Plata branch of the Charles County Public Library will be closed Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Curbside Pickup will be temporarily suspended until power is restored. SMECO is working diligently to address this issue. Customers are encouraged to reschedule their Curbside Pickup appointments for another day at their convenience by visiting our Curbside Pickup Information Center. All virtual services and programs will still be available:

  • Live Web Chat will be available on our website www.ccplonline.org during our regular business hours, 9 AM – 8 PM
  • Telephone Reference will be available during the hours of 9 AM – 12:45 PM
  • All virtual programs on Aug. 5 will continue as scheduled

For more information, please visit our website, www.ccplonline.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ccplonline.

August 4, 2020 – Inclement Weather Closing

Due to the inclement weather from Tropical Storm Isaias, Charles County Public Library will be closed Tuesday, August 4, 2020. All Curbside Pickup appointments for that day will be rescheduled. While Curbside Pickup will be temporarily suspended, the following services will still be available:
  • Live Web Chat will be available on our website www.ccplonline.org during our regular business hours, 9 AM – 8 PM
  • Telephone Reference will be available during the hours of 9 AM – 12:45 PM
  • All virtual programs on Aug. 4 will continue as scheduled

For more information, please visit our website, www.ccplonline.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ccplonline.

Get the latest Charles County severe weather updates:

Charles County Government website: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov 

Charles County Government Television (CCGTV): Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 10

SMECO Power Outage Map: stormcenter.smeco.coop (Call 877-747-6326 to report an outage.)

Sign up for the Citizen Notification System (CNS), the county’s free emergency notification system, at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS to receive weather, traffic, and road closure notices by text message, email, or phone. Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Sincerely,

KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

August 3, 2020

Curbside Pickup @CCPL is Here!

We are thrilled to announce that Phase 2 of Reopening CCPL has begun with Curbside Pickup! We have been carefully continuing our phased approach that keeps the safety of our patrons and our staff at the top of our priority list.

We continue to work closely with Charles County government and health officials to ensure we are following all guidelines and providing a safe library environment for our patrons and staff as we start to reopen our facilities and offer more in-person services.

How Does Curbside Pickup Work?
Step 1:  Place a hold and receive a notification that your holds are available.
Step 2:  Make a curbside pickup appointment.
Step 3:  Pick up your materials at your selected library location.

Curbside Pickup is only available for those who have received a notification message from the library that you have holds that are ready to be picked up.  Same day pickup will not be available.

For more information on Curbside Pickup, to place a hold and schedule an appointment, visit our Curbside Pickup Information Center.

Commitment to Safety
Our Curbside Pickup process is contactless and social distancing protocols are in place. We are committed to keeping our staff, patrons and community safe. All library materials will be quarantined for 96 hours upon return to our locations. All staff are required to wear face masks while in our branches, and we have enhanced the cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and materials.

We will continue to provide online services via our virtual branch www.ccplonline.org. Please visit us online to learn more about our services, virtual programs and free resources available to assist you both remotely and in person once we reopen. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ccplonline.

We look forward to continuing to serve our community and being able to continue to bring new opportunities to engage, discover and learn from the safety of your home.

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

June 15, 2020

Welcome Back to the Charles County Public Library: A Phased Approach to Reopening

Click Here for FAQs About the Library Reopening

We are happy to announce that the path to reopening CCPL has begun! Our reopening plan is a carefully thought out, phased approach that keeps the safety of our patrons and our staff at the top of our priority list. As we enter Phase 1, it’s important to remember that it’s not “back to normal,” but rather a gradual process of returning and discovering what are temporary, long-term, or even permanent changes. Our goal is to continue to create opportunities for the community to engage, discover and learn, even when we cannot physically be in the library.

We are working closely with Charles County government and health officials to ensure we are following all guidelines and providing a safe library environment for our patrons and staff as we start to reopen our facilities and offer more in-person services.

When you return to the library, you’ll notice some changes in the way our spaces look, as well as new processes and protocols and service offerings. We will share all information about our new procedures and services as we move to each new phase, beginning with Phase 1. Below you will find what to expect from Phase 1, beginning on June 15, 2020.

On Monday, June 15, 2020 book drops will reopen at all of our branches and will be accessible 24/7. However, if you are unable or unwilling to come to one of our book drops, all fines will be waived until further notice. There will be no penalty for continuing to hold on to your materials. Please do not return mobile hotspots to the Book Drops. You may keep using those and return once our buildings reopen.

We will continue to provide online services via our virtual branch www.ccplonline.org. Please visit us online to learn more about our services, programs and free resources available to assist you both remotely and in person once we reopen. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ccplonline.

Click Here for FAQs About the Library Reopening

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

May 18, 2020

“A Letter to Our Community”

Click Here for FAQs About the Library Reopening

Dear Library Community,

I sincerely hope this message finds you well.

Last week, Governor Hogan announced the implementation of Stage 1 of reopening Maryland effective May 15, at 5 PM. On Friday, May 15, at 5 PM the State lifted the “Stay at Home” order and implemented a “Safer at Home” standard.

While the Charles County Public Library does meet some of the criteria that the Governor outlined in his four building blocks to reopen, in the interest of safety our facilities will remain closed. On May 14, Charles County Commissioners announced the Stay-at-Home Order will remain in place in Charles County until May 29. I would like to assure you that I am working diligently to develop a safe and gradual plan that re-imagines a new library environment. Our goal will encompass a phased-approach to initiate a safe and sensible path to reopening in conjunction with County guidelines.

Meanwhile, our dedicated staff continues to work remotely, deliver new virtual programs, make more electronic resources available, provide Live Web Chat via our website, and work with local partners on community needs. This week we launched another opportunity for the community to connect to our staff through Telephone Reference. Our website and new blog, CCPL @ Home, seek to be reliable resources for our community throughout the recovery ahead. So even while we are at home, we are continuing to connect to our patrons in a meaningful manner.

While we assess our environment and plan various scenarios, many unknowns remain, including the timeline of future state and local orders.  However, we do know the return to our branches will not be a return to a pre-pandemic environment. The health, safety, and well-being of our staff and customers remains our highest priority.  State and local orders, along with guidance from health officials and the CDC, will continue to guide our plans.  Please know that we are as eager as you to get back into the library and back to serving this community that we care so deeply about.

Stay safe, stay healthy and continue to discover the endless possibilities through our virtual branch, www.ccplonline.org.

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

PS  A reminder to keep and enjoy all materials at home until we reopen.  Fines are waived while our branches are closed.

March 31, 2020

All CCPL Branches Will Be Closed Until Further Notice

Our branches have been closed since March 13, 2020 and will remain so until further notice so that we can do our best to support the county, state and nationwide efforts to help contain the spread of COVID-19. All programs and events have been canceled through April 30, 2020.

As this is an incredibly dynamic situation, we will continue to assess the crisis, consult with County officials and do our best to communicate as our operating status changes. The safety of our patrons, staff and community members is always our first priority. We know that every decision we make impacts the community we love and understand that life in Charles County has already been greatly affected by this changing situation.

We will continue to offer our community endless possibilities to engage, discover and learn from the safety and comfort of your own home. We have increased our funding of digital resources Overdrive and Hoopla.

  • Overdrive – allows library customers to borrow and read free e-books, audiobooks and magazines using a phone or a tablet. CCPL has curated a custom collection of titles developed specifically for our community.

  • Through Hoopla, customers can borrow movies, music, audiobooks, e-books, comics and TV shows to enjoy on a computer, tablet or phone.

If you have any questions, our staff is regularly checking email and social media as we work from home to address any concerns or issues you may have. We want you to know that we are continuously working to make the best decisions possible during this unprecedented time.

From all of us at CCPL, please be safe and together we will make it through.

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

March 19, 2020

Helping Get You Through The COVID-19 Crisis

Working from home? Trying to find more ways to keep your kids entertained while school’s out? Or are you just looking for more information on what’s going on and how it affects Charles County? Look no further, CCPL has got you covered.

We know this is a confusing time and there is a lot of information out there. Below we’ve compiled some resources and recommendations for our community to help get you through this crisis.

Library Resources @ Home

The library has unlimited access 24/7 through our website to eBooks, eMovies, eMagazines, comics, movies, TV, research databases and more for all ages. Here is a list of just some of the great things you are able to access from home:

  • Ancestry.com – Ancestry is allowing our customers to have remote access to the database from now till June 1st.  Patrons must use a library card barcode and password to access the site.
  • Lynda.com – Lynda.com is an online learning site that hosts a constantly growing library of over 3,000 courses that include over 130,000 videos. Courses cover a variety of topics and software that can help you pursue personal and professional goals. Normally, using Lynda.com requires a paid subscription, but as a Charles County Public Library cardholder you can access Lynda.com content from any computer with an Internet connection simply by visiting the library’s Lynda.com site and entering your library card number and password/PIN (usually the last four digits of your telephone number).
  • Hoopla – Choose from 1000s of movies, TV shows, music albums, eBooks, comics, and audio books. We are happy to announce that we’ve INCREASED the borrowing limit on Hoopla from five to EIGHT checkouts per month. It’s more than we’ve ever offered before as our monthly checkout limit. Hoopla is popular because ALL of its items are instantly available, no hold lists.
  • RB Digital – Download eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines in one app.
  • Librivox – FREE public domain audiobooks

For a list of all of our digital resources, go to Resources.

**REMINDER: The library is waiving ALL fines and fees during this period. All due dates and holds will be extended, with more information to come after the library is reopened. Customers are encouraged to stay home and keep their items at home, too, until the crisis is over. All book drops are currently closed.

The Library is also offering FREE wifi in all of our branch parking lots. Need to get out of the house? Come to one of our branches and access our wifi from the safety and comfort of your vehicle.

Community Resources

Thank you all for your support and understanding as we navigate this challenging time together.

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library

March 13, 2020

At CCPL, the health and well-being of our patrons and staff remains our highest priority. We understand the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the concern about how it will impact our community. We have been closely monitoring the situation as well as the recommendations from the CDC, Charles County Department of Health and local government officials. After careful consideration and consultation with County officials, as well as our Board of Trustees, we have decided to close all CCPL branches effective at 5pm March 13, 2020.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the safety of our patrons and staff is our greatest concern. However, as this is an evolving situation we will continue to be in close contact with County health officials to make a determination of future operating status. The future schedule of events, programs and meeting room reservations will be reassessed on an ongoing basis to determine whether further closures and cancellations are needed with the hope of returning to our normal schedule as soon as possible.

The library is waiving all fines and fees during this period along with extending due dates until April 30, 2020. Customers are encouraged to stay home and keep their items at home, too, until the crisis is over. All holds will be extended for seven days after the date of reopening.

Books and Digital Resources

The library has unlimited access 24/7 through its website to eBooks, eMovies, eMagazines, comics, movies, TV, research databases and more for all ages. Visit https://www.ccplonline.org/ to access these digital resources remotely.

For the most up to date information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to protect you and your family, we encourage you to visit the Charles County Department of Health website. You can also follow the Library on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.

Community Resources

Sincerely,
KennethWayne Thompson
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library