Library Update – April 14, 2020

Hi everyone,

It’s been some time since I’ve posted to this blog, and a lot has happened during since then. Regardless, I’m glad to once again take time to share information with each of you. Let me begin by extending my thanks for your kindness, patience, and understanding of us closing our doors on March 15. Your outpouring of support and encouragement has meant a lot to staff at each of our libraries. Closing was a difficult decision. As librarians we pride ourselves on being a steady force during times of crisis. While it’s hard to grasp this unprecedented crisis known as COVID-19 that has turned all of our lives upside down, this was the best decision to help flatten the curve and place the health and well-being of our community as top priority. It’s our goal to provide a sense of normalcy for you and your families over the days ahead.

During this time, we encourage you to:

    • Use our online resources by visiting
    • Continue using our various social media platforms, website, Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube Channel. These platforms will continue to provide updates and resources for your enjoyment while we all embrace the “stay at home” concept. In the next few days, you’ll see several pre-recorded storytime programs, tutorial videos, do it yourself projects, cooking demonstrations, and more. As you can see, while staff may be at home, they are busy at work bringing our resources directly to your living rooms.
    • We also encourage you to please hold on to your books until further notice. There will be no fines accrued as of March 6.
    • If you’re a Durham County resident without a library card, you can use your mobile phone number to sign up for a temporary card that will let you get ebooks and e-audiobooks through OverDrive / Libby. Your access will work while the library is closed (after that, you’ll need to come in to make your card permanent).
    • Students of Durham Public Schools – don’t forget about the SLAM initiative (Schools & Libraries Achieving More) that allows you to access Durham County Library’s ebooks, e-audiobooks, and more using your Durham Public Schools student ID number. Now is the perfect time to try it out!

Exciting news: we have expanded our online collection of magazines effective April 1. You now have access to thousand of magazines at the tip of your fingers. More details to come.

To answer questions while we are closed, we continue to offer LibChat hours Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Questions can also be sent as a text to (919) 344-0776. Questions via LibChat or text received outside of these hours will be answered the following business day. You can access LibChat by visiting

One question that I know that everyone wants answered is, “When will Main Library open?” Ironically enough, we were scheduled to announce our specific April opening date on March 25. Now, unfortunately, the specific date is unknown. Opening will depend on how quickly our community can return to normal operations for businesses, non-profits, county and city government, and our families. We will keep you posted and do what we can to safely open as soon as possible.

I leave you with a favorite quote by Sidney Sheldon: “Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.”

So, while you are vising our library virtually, may your imagination continue to be fueled. May you continue to learn and be entertained by our many resources and know that we are committed to serving each of you, be it in our brick and mortar locations or virtually. We are here for you! We look forward to seeing each of you when we reopen, and on behalf of all Durham County Library staff, may you and your family stay well and appreciate the simple things in life such as reading and time with one another.  Peace, happiness, and good health to each of you.

4 replies to Library Update – April 14, 2020

  1. Ms. Baggett-Best,

    Thank you for kind message today. I have been a library patron since moving to Durham 40 years ago. I cannot tell you how highly I regard our library system and the staff and leadership. My wife (a retired school librarian) and I are looking forward to the re-opening of the branches, especially the new main branch.

    Please express our gratitude to the staff members.

    Robert Harrison

    • Thank you for your support and kind words. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our brick and mortar locations.

  2. If we all wait to add to our list till May 8,won,t this over-task our library employees. Maybe we could add holds before opening day

    • Hi Patsy – thank you for reaching out and for your interest in Durham County Library. We are still uncertain of when we will reopen, but in the meantime, our Executive Leadership Team, in collaboration with frontline staff, have been busy thinking about what library services will look like when we reopen. Managing holds is definitely one of the items we’ll need a plan for, and we appreciate your feedback about this. As soon as we have information available about plans for reopening, we will share widely with the public.

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