January 5, 2021
- Contactless book pick-up/drop-off and the book mailing service
- Reference, circulation, and membership services by phone or email
- Free virtual events (nonmembers pay a nominal fee)
- Virtual discussion groups
- Access to reference tools, newspapers, magazines, and scholarly publications through our electronic resources
- The weekly At Home e-newsletter and other communications
To help us meet occupancy requirements, we ask all members and visitors to reserve time in the building in advance. Please call the Membership team at (617) 720-7604 to book your visit.
- Every person in the building is required to wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit.
- COVID-19 protocols for social distancing, hygiene, staffing, cleaning, and disinfecting are in effect, in accordance with Massachusetts state guidelines.
- We are using the MA Safety Standards and Checklist for Libraries as a guide.
- The number of people in the building is limited to 40% of occupancy, per Massachusetts Phase 3 guidelines.
- We are doing our utmost to create a safe environment.
Welcoming You to 10½ Beacon Street
- Most spaces are open for your use, including the Gordon Newspaper Reading Room; the first, second, and fifth floors; Upper Pilgrim (the Art & Architecture library); Lower Pilgrim; and the Drum stacks.
- Floors 3, 3G, and 4 are reserved for staff only. The librarians will retrieve books for you from these floors; just ask!
- Reservations open every Friday morning for the week ahead starting on Monday. Please call the Membership team at (617) 720-7604 to schedule your visit.
- We book reservations one week at a time, to monitor the process and make any needed adjustments.
- You can reserve flexibly: a full day or just a half hour, depending on what you need.
- We don't have a system in place for self-service booking; we can only take your reservations by telephone.
- We only allow people who have an appointment beyond the lobby, although you can make a spur-of-the-moment decision to come in and we'll happily welcome you (as long as we have not reached the capacity limits. We have dozens of safely-distanced spots waiting for members).
- Questions? Visit our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page
Please check events listings and our social media feeds for the many online book talks, lectures, and other events you can join from home. We are sending our most timely updates via email; all are welcome to join our email list here.
In-person member and visitor activities, including lecture and concert programs, class visits, rentals, and meetings, are suspended.
Library staffers are providing services during our regular open hours, including help with electronic resources. Call (617) 227-0270 x302, email email@example.com, or make an appointment to come in after we reopen by calling the Membership line at (617) 720-7604.
Most of our discussion groups are meeting virtually. The BA is providing online videoconference access.
In-person reader services, including book borrowing and returns, continue to be available as usual during our open hours.
Staff and Facilities
All hourly and salaried employees were compensated during the spring 2020 closure, with much of their work continuing remotely. The building’s security and climate maintenance systems and procedures remained in effect at all times. Crews completed a thorough cleaning under the direction of facilities and security staff, and continue to maintain the building every day.
We care foremost about the people of the Athenæum and Boston communities. We will remain vigilant and respond prudently to this unprecedented situation, and look forward to offering you a warm welcome when you come in!
Information about the COVID-19 coronavirus and the Massachusetts response