As of 6 p.m. on Monday, March 16, all branches of the Boston Public Library (BPL) system were closed until further notice including the Central Library in Copley Square and the Charlestown Branch Library. During this time, BPL will expand automatic renewals, and allow people to keep their books and other materials for an additional 15 weeks, instead of the standard three weeks.
All late fines will be waived until May 1, and library patrons will have until October to renew their library card if it is set to expire. In the coming days and weeks, BPL will increase online services, including e-books, downloadable movies, audio books, and other information resources.
As a part of the City’s school closure plan, Chromebooks are being distributed to every student who needs one. Students will be encouraged to make use of the BPL’s vast collection of resources during this time.
In addition, all events, classes, concerts and talks taking place at all locations of the BPL are at this time either cancelled or postponed.
“We are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our visitors and staff,” read a statement from the BPL. “We will continue to closely monitor the developing Coronavirus situation. Further updates to our operating hours will be announced on our website, on our social media platforms, and through email.”
Boston Centers for Youth & Families
All BCYF pools, gyms and fitness centers are closed. By Wednesday, March 18, all BCYF programming was suspended. Only select BCYF centers will be open for youth meal distribution during school closures. For a list of meal distribution locations, go to boston.gov/coronavirus.
To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (at least six feet apart); avoid crowded places.
Residents are asked to not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.
Meal Service Sites
There are four meal service sites set up near the South End, Bay Village and Lower Roxbury include the following:
•YMCA at Wang — 8 Oak St. 8 a.m.-noon
•BCYF Quincy Community Center — 885 Washington St. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
•Blackstone Elementary School — 380 Shawmut Ave. 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
•Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden —136 Lenox St. 8 a.m.-noon.
•YMCA at Huntington Ave. — 316 Huntington Ave. 8 a.m.-noon.