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Friends of the Suffolk Library temporarily closed 

Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the slow rollout of vaccines, the Friends of the Suffolk Library at 300 Carolina Road will temporarily close for an undetermined amount of time.

The Friends of the Suffolk Library reopened after the lockdown last spring and continued to provide inexpensive, used books to the community. However, as cases have dramatically risen once more, a decision was made to keep the volunteers and customers safe.

“We are among a rather small group of used book outlets currently open, and new customers have discovered us every week,” said Bob Cox, also known as “Book Sale Bob.” “This is wonderful for us, except for a few issues: first, Suffolk’s infection rate is now alarmingly high. Secondly, all of our primary daily-sale volunteers receive Social Security and therefore fall into the same vulnerability group as a great number of our customers.”

Considering these facts, Cox found sufficient cause to close the store again while the case surge passes and the vaccination process makes more progress.

The Friends of the Suffolk Library was able to reopen after the first lockdown due to an unprecedented number of volunteers who worked at the store. Instead of opening only one weekend a month, the used bookstore could be open five days a week to limit gathering and space the crowd out.

“We felt that if the public responded to the greater availability by spreading themselves out over the course of the week, then we would be able to stay open,” said Cox. “We also standardized pricing at one dollar per book to make self-counting a snap, significantly reducing crowding and time spent at checkout.”

This process was a success, as it did keep customer volume low and distancing possible, as regular customers also complied with the mask mandate. Unfortunately, to protect the vulnerable customers, the used bookstore will remain closed for the next month or so until cases begin to level out once more.