BCPL has temporarily closed the Chapin Memorial Library in Petersburg due to staffing issues.
The Chapin Memorial Library was regularly staffed by two part-time employees working opposite times. One of the employees resigned at the start of the pandemic, and after two years, we have been unable to fill that position. Due to lack of staffing, Chapin reduced hours to 15 less per week for the last 18 months. The remaining employee recently resigned leaving Chapin with no staff as of Feb 24. We were forced to reduce the open hours again to two days a week.
In the best of times, BCPL runs with a lean staff, one of the strategies used to keep the tax rate low. The Library is struggling to compete and find staff for all our locations as are many other businesses and organizations. Given the current number of open positions, we can no longer send staff from other locations to cover Chapin Memorial Library.
We are working on a plan to reopen Chapin as an unstaffed location, a new concept for BCPL, that will allow us to continue serving the Petersburg community.
To create an unstaffed outpost, a locker system will be placed in the Petersburg Community Center, similar to what we have at the Hebron Branch, in which customers can pick up their holds. The wi-fi network in that location will be maintained. There will be books that community members can borrow without checking out. Programming will be offered in the community center on a quarterly basis. Additionally, plans are in the works for a Petersburg historical exhibit housed in the Library.
Our first quarterly program is a Mobile Gaming Truck scheduled for Thursday, April 14, 2-4 pm at the Petersburg Community Center for children in grades 3-8. Participants will get to experience virtual reality while they wait for their turn on the truck. Please register.
Please be patient with us as we work through a plan to continue serving Petersburg. We will share updates on the future of Chapin Memorial Library as more information becomes available.