How to Use Lilly Services During COVID-19

How to Browse By Appointment (Begins Oct. 13)

Lilly is pleased to announce the day we’ve all been waiting for, the return of in-library browsing.  We’ve created a system which we believe ensures the safety of our staff and patrons. We’re pleased to again offer you access to the resources within our building at a time when they’re more needed than ever. We’re doubly pleased that this change will mean we’ll be able to see our friends and patrons again.  

Browsing and computer use (including printing and faxing) will take place by appointment. Appointments can be made online at our reservations page, by phone at 413 587-1500 x2, or in-person. Same-day (and same-hour) appointments can be made at the circulation desk as space allows. Those wishing to make in-person and walk-up reservations are asked to maintain physical distance and follow cues of staff while inside the library. No ID or library card will be required to make an appointment to browse or use the computers, though a CWMARS library card will be required to check out materials.

The first hour of each day is reserved for senior citizens and those persons at a greater risk for COVID-19. Please only book that time if you are a senior citizen or a person at greater risk for COVID-19.

The current limit is 10 patrons in the building with lower limits for the different areas of the library.

Browsing reservations start on the hour and last for 50 minutes. Patrons are able to show up for their reservation at any point within their reservation hour, but please note that all reservations end at 50 past. After the browsing period has elapsed the library will be cleared before the start of the next browsing period.

Patrons who reserve time in the upstairs portion of the library will have access to both stairs and the elevator to reach the second floor. If these patrons have found any materials to take home with them, they will check out via the upstairs (reference) desk. They will be asked to exit out the upstairs exit, unless accessibility concerns require another exit route.

Patrons who have reserved time in the downstairs portion of the library will check out their materials via the main circulation desk. Please note that other patrons may arrive to check out their holds, and browsing patrons are asked to maintain physical distance from other patrons and to follow cues of staff members.

Lilly will continue to offer in-library pick-ups of holds, as well as curbside pick-up of holds. Those entering the library to pick up their holds are asked to maintain physical distance in the lobby and at the circulation desk.

Patrons who have booked reservations in the library must use hand sanitizer and wear library-supplied gloves to browse. We have adult and children’s sizes. We ask that very young children not handle materials and that they use hand sanitizer. Those using computers will not be required to wear gloves, though we do ask that computer users use an alcohol wipe on their station at both the beginning and end of their session. Patrons must properly wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, Lilly will supply one.

Please note that bathrooms are not available to the public.

Lilly has taken the following steps to increase the safety and security of in library browsing:

  • The library has installed iWave air purifiers in our heating venting and circulation system. This has been shown to reduce virus load in the air and on surfaces
  • We have increased the amount of fresh outside air brought into the library.
  • We have installed Plexiglas sneeze guards at all points of service.
  • We quarantine books entering or leaving the library for 3 days.
  • Staff & patrons are required to stay home of they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Staff are required to use hand sanitizer or gloves while at work and to wipe down high touch areas at the end of shift changes.

How to Use In-Library Holds Pickup and/Or Curbside Service

Lilly Library will continue offering patrons the options of coming to the library to pick up their holds, or requesting curbside pickup of their holds.

Patrons are able to place holds via their CW MARS accounts through the CW MARS catalog or patrons may request books via Lilly’s Google Form, available here.

CW MARS sends automatic emails when holds are available. If you have received these in the past, you will receive them again once your holds have reached Lilly and are ready for you.

If you are typically notified by a Lilly staff member via a phone call that your holds are available, you will again receive a phone call from a staff member at Lilly when your holds are available.

Once you have been notified, either via email or phone, that your holds are available, you can either:

Come to the library to pick up your holds, any time when the library is open.


You can set up an appointment to pick up your holds via contactless curbside pickup. If you receive an automatic email from CW MARS, just give the library a call (at 413-587-1500 ext. 2) or an email (at to schedule your curbside pickup. Staff members will put your holds in a paper bag, label it with your last name, and place it on a table outside the library. Books are placed outside once an hour, and when you contact the library, you will be asked when you would like to pick up your materials, i.e. from 3pm – 4pm.

In-library holds pickups will continue at the circulation desk. Please note that browsing has resumed in the library, by reservation, and we ask that those who arrive at the library for holds pickup maintain their physical distance from other patrons and take cues from the circulation desk staff. Those who arrive to pick up holds are asked to properly wear a mask, sanitize their hands upon arrival, and exit via the service door (see signage in the library).

How to Return Items

Patrons are asked to return materials to the library, using the book drop. Materials will be quarantined for three days before they are checked in — your account will not reflect the return until after this quarantine period. You will not incur any fines during this quarantine period.

How to Request Print Services

We are pleased to offer printing services for curbside or in-library pickup. Upload your materials through this form, and we will get in touch with you.

New Materials at Lilly

The librarians at Lilly are continuously purchasing new materials for the collections. Head to this page to see what’s new at the library.

How to Engage with Lilly From Home

Check our calendar for the most up-to-date information on virtual programming!

For kids, Miss Kim will be releasing a new installment of virtual storytime, each Friday at 11am on our Facebook page. See you there!

For teens, we’ve got biweekly Virtual Zine Club (where we’ve teamed up with Forbes and Jones Libraries!) and there are zine packets available for contact-free pickup, outside the library whenever the library is typically open. The YA dept. is also holding a super cool design contest. Check it out.

Local and Statewide Updates

We are following guidelines recommended by the City of Northampton ( and plans are rapidly evolving. Please consult this page for any other updates.

Confused about what’s going on with COVID-19 in general — or in Western Mass in particular? Forbes Library came up with a great resource list of valued sources. Thanks, Forbes! The Daily Hampshire Gazette is also a great source for local news and has dropped its paywall for all COVID-19-related stories.

Please stay safe, stay home (as much as possible!), and stay well.

Page updated 10/9/20