Thursday, July 2, 2020

SCHS Reopening: Changes to Library Operations

As NYS enters Phase IV of New York Forward, SCHS is excited to once again welcome visitors and researchers to our sites! Beginning Monday, July 6, the doors of our Library, Museum, and the Mabee Farm Historic Site will be open. However, as we prioritize our community's health and safety, and follow NYS guidelines, we have a few changes to our operating policies. All visits to our sites must be scheduled in advance.

Photo of bilboard nex to a road. Bilboard reads "Schenectady Lights and Hauls the World. Population 100,000. Welcome"
We're excited to welcome you back to our sites!

This post details the changes to library operations that will be in effect for the foreseeable future. Please contact the librarian if you have any questions.

Research Appointments
  • Researchers must contact the librarian at least one day in advance to schedule an appointment to visit the library. Contact the librarian at or 518-374-0263 x3
  • When scheduling an appointment, please specify which materials you plan to view and the desired length of the appointment.
  • SCHS members may visit the library for free as a benefit of their membership; non-members pay $6 per person, per visit to use the library.
  • Admission fees can be paid online, over the phone, or in person. Read the "Payment Options" section on our Research Resources page for more details:
  • Appointments will be available Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm, and Saturday, 10am-2pm. No research appointments will be scheduled from 12-1pm Monday-Friday.
Visiting the Library
  • Everyone using the library will be required to wear masks that cover their noses and mouths at all times.
  • Researchers should bring their own masks.
  • Everyone using the library must maintain 6 ft. social distancing whenever possible.
  • The number of people in the library at any time will be limited to comply with NYS guidelines on capacity.
  • Signs will be posted around the lobby and library to remind visitors and researchers of the current protocols.
  • Researchers are encouraged to bring their own laptops and devices. Use of the library's computers will be restricted to library staff and volunteers.
  • The library staff will sanitize commonly touched surfaces, including shared work-spaces, frequently throughout the day.
Access to Materials
  • Researchers must specify which materials they plan to use during their research appointment. Peruse the Collections & Catalog page for finding aids, guides, indexes, and descriptions of materials in the library collections
  • All materials will be retrieved by library staff and volunteers.
  • Materials will be quarantined for up to 72 hours after use, in accordance with current expert recommendations.
Handling Materials
  • Researchers should wash their hands before entering the library. Frequent handwashing is encouraged.
  • Use of hand sanitizer will not be allowed while handling materials. Studies have shown that hand sanitizer can damage historic materials.
  • Researchers must not reshelve or refile any materials. Library staff will move materials to quarantine areas after use.
Visit the Research Resources page on the SCHS website for more information such as library services, research room rules, and fee payment options.

Photo of a library volunteer waving her hands in excitement while sitting at a desk with a computer.
We look forward to working with you again!