Moving Forward

To our Oak Bluffs patrons,

I am thrilled to announce the upcoming reopening of our book drops and availability of contactless hold pickup at the Oak Bluffs Public Library starting next week. After several long months, you’ll be able to return your library materials and check out new ones. You’ve waited a long time for this moment, so I want to highlight some of the important changes you can expect.

First, we have developed a safe and efficient way to place and pick up your holds. Details about the contactless hold pickup service are available on our website. You may select your own items or provide guidelines on the kinds of materials you need, and our staff will do the rest. Library staff will check out and bag the items for you before an allotted pick up time. The pickup service is completely contactless, for your safety and the safety of our staff.

The library building will remain closed for the time being. The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association has developed a phased reopening plan for the six island libraries based on the guidelines from the Reopening Advisory Board created by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, the island Boards of Health, and the Massachusetts library organizations. Our goal is to phase in library services over the next several months as it becomes safe to do so, while continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of patrons and staff. Details about available services in our current phase are listed on our website.

Our staff has been working hard to provide outstanding library services during this unprecedented time. Their creativity and flexibility have led to new service offerings that fit our new environment. Anyone with current checkouts received a phone call from staff to inform you of our status and to follow-up on any questions you might have had. We onboarded Hoopla for additional digital content, have offered dozens of virtual programs, provided reference and technology assistance, and even provided ideas for at-home activities for our storytime families on our Facebook feed. We will continue to provide these services remotely until we can finally provide them in person.

As you discover the new ways you can use the library, please have patience with our staff if they inform you that we cannot accommodate a request. They are trained to follow strict safety standards, and I’ve instructed them that we cannot make any exceptions. Information about our safety practices, including material quarantine, will be available on our website. If you have any additional questions about our process, please get in touch with me directly at or by calling (508) 693-9433.

I know that you can’t wait to come see us again – we can’t wait to see you either! We have been looking forward to serving you once again in whatever capacity we safely can. We know things will look and feel different for a while, but by resolving to put safety first, we will be doing everything possible to assure that library services can continue to expand in the future.

I want to say thank you to our town’s administration for taking a careful approach to resuming municipal services and to the Library Board of Trustees for supporting the library in our resumption of services plan. I particularly want to thank the OBPL staff for their grit and good spirits through a difficult working environment.

Last but not least, thank you for all your support during this difficult time. Be well, and hope to see you soon!

Allyson Malik, Library Director, Oak Bluffs Public Library
June 9, 2020