Community Library now open to the public


Marking the community’s latest stride toward normalcy in the COVID-19 era, the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library entered “Phase 3” of its re-opening plan on Monday, July 6.

Under this newest phase, the library is operating under guidelines set forth by the State of New York for retail establishments. The rules of operation aim to provide both library customers and staff with a safe, healthy environment – while providing customers with access to the library’s entire collection. The guidelines also limit the amount of time customers can spend in the building at 407 William Floyd Parkway in Shirley.

“Libraries contribute greatly to our community’s quality of life,” said Library Director Kerri Rosalia. “With this in mind, our dedicated staff has been hard at work behind the scenes to prepare to welcome the public back safely.”

Here are key elements of Phase 3:

  • Hours of operation are the same as usual: Monday through Thursday from  9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Sunday opening period of 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm is suspended for the summer.
  • To maintain adequate social distancing, a maximum of 50 customers are permitted in the library at any single time.
  • Upon arrival, customers may be required to wait on a line outside of the building, keeping a six-foot distance from other visitors.
  • In-person visits within the building are limited to 30 minutes per person per day.
  • Face coverings are required for all staff and customers. If needed, disposable masks will be made available before entry.
  • Floor decals will indicate appropriate social distancing both outside and inside the library.
  • Computer workstations have been spaced at least six feet apart. Usage is limited to one 15-minute session per day, with potential opportunities for 15-minute extensions, depending on demand.
  • The library will continue to offer a curbside pickup option.
  • Clear plastic barriers will provide suitable separation between desk staff and customers.
  • Customers may use self-checkout machines to complete their own borrowing transactions.

A number of library assets are not yet available, including public restrooms, meeting and study rooms, in-person events and programs, public seating, and copying and faxing services.

Library personnel have been steadily developing and presenting a collection of educational and entertaining offerings suitable for the entire family by way of virtual programming via Zoom and the library’s YouTube channel. 

Ms. Rosalia said that the curbside pickup program has proven so popular that it may be continued upon return to normal operations. Information about curbside pickup may be found at

Customers may also request that library personnel curate a personalized weekly collection of books, music, or videos. The selection would reflect genres identified by the customer.

The pandemic has only marginally affected the library’s timetable for establishing two new, permanent satellite branches: one in Mastic Beach on Neighborhood Road, and the other in Moriches near the Little Red Schoolhouse. Construction on the two branches will commence as planned by early 2021.

Upon their completion in 2022, the outdated main library in Shirley would close until 2023 to undergo renovations that will bring it into code compliance. Once the newly upgraded Main Library opens, the two new branches will remain in permanent operation.

Ms. Rosalia advises customers to look for additional reopening details on the library’s website, social media channels, and e-newsletters.

“The Shirley, Mastic Beach and Moriches community has been consistently helpful and supportive during this disruptive period,” said Board of Trustees President Joseph Maiorana.“The library staff and board appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. We urge you to keep enjoying the library’s plentiful resources.”


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