Oliver Wolcott Library
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About OWL



FAQ about our Stage 2 Re-Opening for Oliver Wolcott Library

We are very pleased to continue the process of reopening the Library. To safeguard you and our staff members,we have implemented guidelines mandated by the state as well as other safety measures. 

To help you in visiting the Library, we have prepared a list of anticipated questions and provided our answers. Please note that at this time of great uncertainty, we may modify our plans as needed.  If you have additional questions, please call us at 860-567-8030. or email us at [email protected] We welcome you back!


Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about our Stage 2 Re-Opening for OWL

Beginning July 15th, what are the library’s hours?

The Library will be open for library services five days a week:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 4 PM
Tuesdays from 10 AM to 8 PM
Saturdays 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM


Will Curbside Pick-Up remain available? And what are the hours for Curbside Pick-Up?

Yes. Curbside Pick-Up will remain available! We recommend it for anyone who wants to avoid waiting in line or might have additional health concerns. It is safe, convenient, and contact-less.
The hours for Curbside Pick-Up are the same as the library hours above.

Do I need to wear a mask? What else am I required to do if I visit?

Yes. Everyone over the age of two visiting the library is required to bring and wear their own mask, or face covering that completely covers their mouth and nose, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so. You must maintain social distancing when visiting the library of six feet when talking with any unrelated person, and maintain a social distance of 3 feet when checking out materials or talking to staff at the circulation desk.

You are also asked to be monitoring your own health. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, you should not visit the library.

Are children and teens required to wear a mask?

Yes. When entering the Library all teens and children over the age of two are required to wear a mask or face covering that completely covers their mouth and nose unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so.

What has the Library done to keep staff and patrons safe when checking out or asking a question?

The Library has implemented several measures to keep you and the staff safe. We have installed safety shields at the circulation desk. You are required to wear masks or face coverings even when standing behind the safety shields. We have also reduced the number of check-out stations to allow for more social distancing. All staff are required to wear masks and also monitor their health daily. These are just a few examples of the many measures we have implemented.

Are staff wearing masks?

Yes, all staff are required to wear masks, and for many tasks, they also wear gloves. Additionally, staff are required to monitor their healthy daily.

What can I do while at the library?

When visiting inside the library, you may freely browse throughout unrestricted areas of the library. Additional displays will be created to assist with browsing and flow. At all times, you must maintain social distancing. You may also use our two public computers, by appointment only, to access the Internet, email or other desktop needs. There are a limited number of public access computer appointments per day and no access on Saturdays. To make an appointment for the public access computers, call us at 860-567-8030. Our self-serve public copier will also be available

What should I do if I touch a book/item and decide I don't want it?

We ask that you try to limit the number of items you pick up. We also ask that parents strictly monitor their young children to avoid having them handle or pull books/items off the shelf. If you do touch a book or media item and then decide not to borrow it, please leave it on a table for staff to re-shelve. Items left on tables will be automatically re-shelved by staff. 

Can I return books and other materials when I visit?

Yes, materials may be returned either inside the library in a return box we have installed by the Jamie Gagarin Community Room or they may be returned outside the library in the outdoor drop box located on the north side of the building. Please note that because of the quarantining of materials, they will not be removed from your account for 4 to 10 days.

Materials borrowed from other libraries may now be returned. Patrons should expect that it may take up to two weeks for the items to be removed from their account because of quarantining and the slowed inter-library delivery system. 

Can I bring my children?

At this time, we have not instituted an age restriction. We may amend this if we find that it has been difficult to maintain proper social distancing and safety precautions.

We do require that any child over the age of two wear a mask (unless they have a medical condition which prevents them from doing so) and that parents carefully monitor their children while inside the library. There will be a limit on the number of unrelated adults/children allowed in the Children's Room at one time. We, therefore, strongly encourage and request that parents limit the amount of time in the Room in order to prevent others from having to wait. Curbside Pick-Up may be a better option for most families at this time.

What can I do in the Children's Room?

The only activity allowed in the Children's Room is browsing and selecting materials. All toys, games, and chairs have been removed.

Can I access the catalog when I am at the library?

You will not be able to use one of the library's computers to access the catalog. We strongly encourage you to use your own smart phones or other devices to access our catalog while visiting the library. If you do not have or do not wish to access the catalog this way, library staff is more than happy to assist you by looking up anything you need in the catalog.

Can I access your public computers?

Yes, we will have two public computers available for use. This will be by appointment only and there are limited sessions per day. You may use the computer for up to one hour. Time cannot be renewed regardless of whether any one else is waiting. If you wish to use one of the two public computers, then you will need to make an appointment. You may make an appointment by calling us at 860-567-8030.

What kind of availability is there for using the public computers?

In order to keep the public computers clean and safe for use, we have to limit the number of sessions per day. All use of the computers are by appointment only.

Public Access Computer sessions may be reserved on:

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the following time slots:
    a). 11 AM to 12:00 PM or b). 2:00- 3:00 PM.


  •  Tuesdays, for the following time slots:
    a). 11 AM to 12:00 PM or b). 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM or c). 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM.


  • There is no access to public computers on Saturdays.

How will you keep the public computers clean?

Before the start of each session, this area will be cleaned. We have plastic, disposable shields for the keyboard and mouse that will be changed after each use. We will also use a disinfectant to clean the chair arms and the table area. We ask that you never touch the screen 

Do I need to make an appointment to visit? Can I make an appointment?

Visiting the library to browse and select materials is first come, first serve. There are no appointments for browsing and selecting materials. In order to allow for social distancing, we have to limit the number of patrons inside the library at one time to 12.

You will be asked to wait until a staff person lets you in. Ypu may wait outside or you may wait in your car and we will text/call you when it is your turn to enter.This allows you to save your space in line without having to wait directly outside the door.

If you wish to use one of the two public computers, then you will need to make an appointment. You may make an appointment by calling us at 860-567-8030 All sessions are for one hour and cannot be renewed on the same day.

Where do I enter and exit?

Please enter the main door located on the south (driveway entrance) side of the building and exit using the parking lot door located on the west side of the building. If because of a physical disability, you are unable or prefer to not exit using the parking lot door, then you may use the main entrance door to leave.



On arrival, do I need to wait in line?

Possibly. The Library is limiting the number of patrons to twelve at a time, so you may need to wait in line. We will ask you to wait outside and a staff member will admit you. To avoid any chance of waiting in line, we encourage you to continue to use our Curbside Pick-Up.

I received notification that my hold is ready. Do I have to wait in line to get it?

No. If you have received notification that your hold is ready for pick-up, then you will find it with your name on it at our Curbside Pick-Up tent.

I reserved the computer, do I still need to wait in line?

If you have reserved the computer, please wait outside at the entrance door. Call us at 860-567-8030 to notify us that you have arrived and a staff person will admit you.

Will there be staff available in the library to assist me?

Staff will be able to help you select materials by searching the catalog for you, if needed, and offering reading or viewing suggestions. Staff will be unable to assist with the self-serve public copier and they will be unable to assist with the public computers.

Will a bathroom be available?

There is one, unisex bathroom that will be available for use. The bathroom will be cleaned at the start of the day and mid-day. On Tuesdays when we are open late, it will be cleaned at the start of the day, mid-day, and early evening.

If I am disabled, is there an accessible bathroom?

Yes, please ask one of our staff to direct you.

Will a water fountain be available?

The water fountain may only be used to fill a water bottle. It may not be used as a fountain.

Can I reserve your meeting room?

No. For the remainder of 2020, our meeting room will be unavailable for meetings.

Will the Library be offering program events?

The Library will continue to offer live, virtual program events and self-directed events. For the remainder of 2020, we will not have any in-person events, meetings or gatherings of any size, whether inside or outside. To learn about our virtual events, please visit our website at www.owlibrary.org

How can I stay up-to-date on what is happening at the Library?

Regularly visiting our website and subscribing to our e-newsletter are the best ways to stay up-to-date on Library events and news. Our e-newsletter is free. To subscribe, visit our website at www.owlibrary.org and then enter your email address into the “Subscribe to E-newsletter”. You may also wish to follow us on Instagram or Facebook.

I heard that the Library canceled the Festival of Trees. Is that true?

Yes. In order to protect our community, the Library has canceled the Festival of Trees. This has created financial uncertainty for the library because the Festival of Trees typically raises 73% of all fundraising monies for the library every year. However, the safety of our community comes first. Donations of any amount are needed and greatly appreciated. To make a donation, visit our website at www.owlibrary.org. If you have questions about giving, contact our Development Director, Maryanne McNeill at [email protected]


If I have a question about Curbside Pick-Up or want to place a Curbside Pick-Up Order, how do I do this?

If you want to place a Curbside Pick-Up order or have questions about Curbside Pick-Up, then please email us [email protected] or call us at 860-567-8030.

If I have questions, whom should I call?

If you have questions, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at 860-567-8030.


OWL Re-Opening Update

There is no way back, only a new way forward!  On June 1, OWL began offering contact-less, same-day Curbside Pickup. We will continue to offer this service.  We anticipate that on Wednesday July 15, we will begin our next phase (Stage 2) in the progression of our re-opening plans.

The procedures that the Oliver Wolcott Library has adopted in adherence with to the guidelines and requirements set forth in the Governor's Re-Opening Connecticut, Sector Rules, dated June 6, 2020.

As noted in the requirements,  the most important consideration will be the health and safety of employees and patrons.

Beginning July 15, Stage 2 will allow

  • a  maximum of 12 patrons inside the library at one time to browse and select materials.  Patrons who visit the library are required to bring and wear their own mask or cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to a medical condition.  
  • a  limited number of unrelated patrons using the Children's Room at one time
  • access to two public computers, by appointment only.

The Library will continue to offer:

  • Curbside Pick-up, Personal Book Browser, Virtual Book a Librarian, and host of self-directed and Virtual Events will continue to be offered

In order to follow social distancing and cleaning requirements, we must significantly limit the number of people inside the library at one time and the length of visits. There may be times when you have to wait to enter the Library or to access the Children's Room.  If you want to avoid waiting, please continue to use our Curbside PickUp.

For complete details, and up-to-date information about OWL and Re-Opening Progression Plans, please subscribe to our e-newsletter, visit our website, and follow us on social media.

Please note that at Stage 2, patrons may visit but cannot “stay” at the library.   We are unable at this time to allow patrons to sit, read, study, work, or engage in any activity that prolongs visits or utilizes shared furniture/spaces.

Safety: The safety of our community is paramount. The library has adopted a number of safety procedures and purchased supplies to safeguard our staff and patrons.   Those include canceling our annual Festival of Trees, prohibiting group gatherings, installing safety shields at the circulation desk, establishing cleaning protocols, quarantining of returned materials, requiring masks and gloves for staff, and much more.



Curbside Pick-Up begins Monday, June 1

Beginning, Monday June 1, the Oliver Wolcott Library will offer curbside pick-up five days a week!

We are excited to start our Curbside Delivery!! Here is how it works!

You can place a request for materials three ways:

1. Request them directly through the catalog. Access to the catalog is available on our website

2. Call us at 860-567-8030. If a staff member is unavailable, please leave your name, a call back number, and that you want curbside pick-up. A staff member will return your call to begin processing your order.

3. Email us at [email protected] When emailing us, please be sure to give us your full name (first and last), and provide us with a list of all the items you would like to check out. A staff member will respond to your email to begin processing your order

• Contact-less Curbside Pick-Up
• Accept orders by phone and email
• Orders will be placed under a tent, located by the back parking lot door for easy pick-up

Hours for pick-up will be:

• Mondays 10 AM to 4 PM
• Tuesdays 10 AM to 8 PM
• Wednesdays 10 AM to 4 PM
• Thursdays 10 AM to 4 PM
• Saturdays 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM


OWL Book Drop- Now Open!

The Book Drop located on the north side of the Oliver Wolcott Library is now open! Starting today, you may deposit any of your returns in the book drop. Please note that the items may not be removed from your account for 1 to 2 weeks as we work to quarantine and/or disinfect all returned items. OWL never charges fines, and you don't have to worry about any penalties from any library in the state.

The drop box located outside Bantam Market is closed but we hope to open it soon.

We do ask that you please only return items that are owned by the Oliver Wolcott Library. Materials owned by other libraries should not be returned to us at this time as the statewide delivery system is still in the process of re-opening all of its routes.

Thank you to everyone for your support, understanding and flexibility during this challenging time!
Stay tuned for more updates and more virtual events planned for June and throughout the summer!



The Library’s regular hours are:


12 - 5 p.m.
10 - 9 p.m.
10 - 9 p.m.
10 - 9 p.m.
10 - 5 p.m.
10 - 2 p.m.
11 - 3 p.m.

Holiday Closings

New Year's Day
Presidents' Day
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve Day
Christmas Day

2020  Special Closings and Limited Services

June 14 - Litchfield Hills Road Race
November 24- Early Closing- Library will close at 5pm 

November 25 - December 30 - Library closed for Thanksgiving and Festival Fundraising Event
December 12th- Limited Services- Family Fun Day at the Library. Limited library services including no computer access or quiet space. (Wifi will be available).

Inclement Weather:

When the library is open, we answer our phones. If there is inclement weather and you are calling during normal business hours and we do not answer our phone, then we are closed due to the weather conditions. We always notify WZBG 97.3 FM if there are any changes in our hours due to inclement weather. 

Note: When the Litchfield Public schools close or have an unplanned early dismissal, any children's programs scheduled for the day will be canceled.

For Directions to the Library click here.

To Contact the Library click here


160 South Street, P.O. Box 187 Litchfield, Connecticut 06759 | Ph: 860-567-8030 | Fx: 860-567-4784

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