The Library is Open! To protect patrons who cannot get vaccinated, we request that you continue to wear masks and social distance when inside the library and at all in-person programs.



Click on any question below to expand the answer.

Or, skip to a specific topic:

Updated 4/2/2021 @ 10:57 aM

Using the Library

Is the library building open?

The library is open! We ask that patrons limit their browsing time to 20 minutes, and computers are available for 45 minute sessions with no extensions available. Masks are mandatory when in the building, and we are complying with contact tracing regulations. Plaza Pick-Up is also still in place for patrons who prefer contactless pick-up. For more details, including current library hours, please check our blog post:

Please join our email list or follow our blog for the latest news on the library’s expanding hours and services.

How can I get a library card?

You can now apply online for a JJML library card! Library cards are free to everyone who lives in or goes to school in the Sag Harbor Union Free School District (including temporary residents). We have Juvenile, Adult, and Temporary library cards for residents. Please visit to fill out the online form. This page also outlines the documents you need to prove your Sag Harbor residency.

You will need to visit the library in-person to show your Proof of Residence document(s), where we will finalize your application and give you your card. Of course, you can still visit the library in-person with your documents to apply for a card too!

What kind of online services can I access with my library card?

Your library card gives you access to homework help, digital magazines, e-books, audiobooks, databases, newspapers, and more! Check out our website for more information. Each age group—adults, kids, and teens—have their own sections showcasing what services you can access from home with your library card.

Will I get fined for overdue items while libraries aren’t fully open?

While libraries were closed items did not accumulate fines. However, now that libraries are reopening with varying levels of service, some libraries have resumed charging fines for overdue items.
Different libraries have different policies on overdue items and fines. John Jermain Library no longer has fines for items that are returned, but will charge replacement costs for lost items. Items loaned from other libraries are subject to the lending library’s policies, and some have begun to charge fines again. You can return any items you have from a Suffolk or Nassau County library to John Jermain or your local library’s outdoor book drop to avoid accumulating fines.

How can I return items to the library?

Items can be returned only in the JJML book drop, located near the side entrance in the garden plaza. Please note that for the safety of staff and patrons, we are quarantining returned items for 4 days in compliance with recent research, so we are not accepting returns in the building. However, items will be backdated when we check them in, so no fines will be accumulated during those four days. You just may see them on your library account for that extra time.

What if I have a reference question, or a question about COVID-19?

Please ask us all your questions! We’ll point you straight to the facts. Email us at or leave us a voicemail at (631) 725-0049 ext. 223. We can provide accurate, up-to-date COVID-19 information, answer reference questions, help you get a library card, give reading recommendations, help you get started with our digital resources, and more.

My kids are home from school, what educational resources are available to me?

The library has many resources that you can access from home with a valid library card (if you don’t have one, email us at to get one). Check out the Kids and Teen Homework Help pages for a start.

Brainfuse is a great homework help and live tutoring service that can be accessed here with your library card. It offers live tutoring in a variety of subjects for every grade level from 2:00-11:00 pm, 7 days a week, and has an online writing lab where you can submit any kind of writing for assistance. Look for Brainfuse Meet to join a virtual study room (great for group projects!). We encourage you to go explore this extensive resource!

Update: Brainfuse has added an extra hour of live tutoring! Live tutoring will now be available from 1:00 pm-11:00 pm in Suffolk County until June 30.

What if I need a reading recommendation?

Our librarians are happy to help make recommendations!

Adults: Please email or call 631-725-0049 ex 223 and leave a voicemail. We also make it easy for you to browse reading sites and digital tools on our Books and Reading page for adults.

Teens: (Grades 6-12) You can fill out a Teen Lit Kits survey to help us narrow down what you are looking for, or email us at We will recommend e-books based on your answers that are accessible on Hoopla or Libby/Overdrive. Teens also have their own Books and Reading page you can check out.

Children: (Birth-5th grade) You can fill out a Book Recommender survey to help us narrow down what you are looking for, or parents can email the Children’s Librarian, Diana, at, who will answer any inquiries you may have and provide book recommendations promptly. You can also check out the Kids Books and Reading page.

Teens and kids (or their parents) can also follow our JJML Youth Services Goodreads account that has book recommendations for kids from birth-grade 12, curated by your librarians!

What is happening with library programs?

In-person programs are cancelled until further notice. However, we are offering many programs for adults, teens, children, and families online via Zoom. Just check out our calendar for programs and activities. Events prefaced with “JJML Live” are live programs, while other events are asynchronous activities that can be completed at any time. We also have Take & Make activity kits that you can browse online and reserve via Plaza Pick-Up.
Teens can access their own content on the teen Instagram page at
You stay up-to-date on new library programs by following us on Facebook and by signing up for our email list, where we will be sending out weekly updates.

Is the library hosting free tax help this year?

None of the East End libraries are offering free, in-person tax help this year due health concerns surrounding COVID-19.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Online Tax AssistanceAARP offers free online assistance with preparing Federal Tax Returns. The site contains FAQs and a form which can be submitted with specific questions about preparing your tax return. People wishing to use this must have an email address and be aware that help is given for Federal Tax Returns only. They do not actually do the tax return for you but answer questions you might have about preparing your return.

You can file your Federal Taxes online for free through the FREE FILE program offered by the IRS. This allows you to prepare and file your Federal Income Tax Return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software.

Can I pick up Federal and State tax forms at the library?

Yes. Currently the library has IRS Forms 1040 and 1040-SR available for pick up. As we receive other Federal and State Tax Forms we will let you know. You can also request that we print out specific tax forms which you may need. You can always call us at 631-725-0049 ext. 0 to ask about availability of forms.

COVID-19 Questions

Where can I get reliable information about getting a COVID-19 vaccination?

Vaccine Appointments:

Vaccine Information:

Where can I get the most local, accurate and updated COVID-19 information?

How many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in Suffolk County? What about specific towns in Suffolk?

  • The New York State breakdown of positive cases is updated daily.
  • Newsday’s Tracking the Coronavirus on Long Island Project is updated every day with graphs for new daily and total number of cases, number of people tested, daily hospitalizations, and deaths for both Suffolk & Nassau Counties and New York State.
  • The Suffolk County Department of Health releases daily case updates showing the number of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • The Suffolk County Dashboard Map shows presumptive positive COVID-19 across the county with a confirmed address. Click on “Community” underneath the map for a breakdown of cases in individual hamlets and villages.

Are there COVID-19 scams I should be aware of?

Yes. Among the many COVID-19 related scams are website and app based malware, email phishing, phone scams and social media pleas. The CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) advises people to “Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.” To find out more about how to protect yourself against these scams, check out these sources from our reference librarian.

Update: The FBI recently issued three separate press releases with warnings about COVID-19 scams. These scams involve procurement of PPE and other high demand, pandemic related supplies, the use of cryptocurrency to steal people’s money and rampant Health Care fraud schemes. 

FBI Issues COVID-19 Fraud Warnings

What about that post I saw on my friend’s social media page about ways to beat Coronavirus?

Beware fake news! Coronavirus cannot be ‘defeated by the sun’ or any of these other quick fixes you may have seen. Social media is rampant with mis-information that looks like it is from a legitimate source. Remember to check your sources and think critically. If you need any help distinguishing good information from bad, we are here to help. Use the reliable sources we’ve outlined in this FAQ page, or contact our reference librarian by email at or by leaving us a message at (631) 725-0049 ext. 223. We’re here to help.

If I feel sick, what should I do?

Call your doctor first for their recommendation. You can also prepare to help emergency personnel by registering for Smart911 so that information about your health and pre-existing conditions will already be on file if you need emergency assistance.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Note that all first responders, medical, frontline, and essential workers as deemed eligible by New York State are qualified for free COVID-19 testing.

You can search for COVID testing sites by zipcode at Please check each site’s availability – some clinics require appointments, some have walk-in hours. Others may not have the rapid test available, so when in doubt, call to make sure if that is what you need.

I have recovered from COVID-19. How can I help?

As treatments have evolved, convalescent plasma can be a lifesaving product for COVID-19 patients. Plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma) contains COVID-19 antibodies, which helps those battling the virus. Those interested in donating plasma can do so through the New York Blood Center.

Help for Parents, Students, and Educators

My child’s school is teaching remotely and I don’t have internet access. What can I do?

First, reach out to your child’s school, they want to help. Altice is also offering affordable internet solutions:

Altice Advantage Internet

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the resources that are being made available. Do you have any recommendations for which ones to use?

Yes, our Youth Services Librarians have curated a list of their favorite resources for children, parents & educators to help narrow down your choices: Librarians’ Top Picks 

My student has been assigned reading for school, how can we get these materials?

For ebooks: All of our library patrons have access to Hoopla, Libby (Overdrive) and Flipster for free when they use their library card! Follow the prompts to sign up and start downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks today. If you need help signing up for any of these resources, please contact us at

For print books: The library is offering Plaza Pick-Up for books, and 30 minute Grab & Go book browsing appointments. Please read about times and how to use these services in our blog post.

My child has overdue library books. What should we do with them?

Not to worry! You can drop off overdue books in our dropbox outside, which is in our courtyard to the left of our side door entrance. We are currently quarantining books for 4 days, but when they are checked in we backdate them to the date they were placed in the book drop. John Jermain Library items will have fines waived, but items loaned from other libraries may still incur fines. John Jermain Library items that are lost or damaged will still be fined their replacement cost. 

I am homeschooling my child, what homeschooling resources do you offer?

The library has a new homeschool collection that patrons can browse through online and reserve for Plaza Pick-Up. You can browse through the collection here and be sure to click the titles of the books you wish to reserve using your library card! Please call 631-725-0049 x0 or email for further assistance. Here are some other links to home schooling resources curated by our Children’s Librarian:

Homeschooling Groups in New York
New York State Department of Education Homeschooling Resources
New York City Home Educators Alliance
New York State Department of Education Home Instruction
New York State Department of Education Office of State Assessment

How can my student earn community service?

Students can earn community service for reading a Young Adult book and writing a book review. These reviews are then used by other Teens looking for book recommendations. Each book review equals 1 hour of community service. For details on book review guidelines, please email

My high school student was planning on visiting colleges, but many campuses are closed. What virtual options are there?

The State University of New York has virtual tours of its many campuses across the state. This list includes SUNY schools, Suffolk County Community Colleges, Cornell University, FIT and many more.
If you’re looking outside of New York, YouVisit has virtual tours from over 600 schools around the country. This list includes Ivy League, state, technical, and community colleges.

Community Help

Where can I get help with food and supplies?

Save Sag Harbor has compiled a list of local residents who can help with errands and deliveries if you are home-bound. Register to volunteer by emailing or ask for help at

Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry will be open on Tuesdays. New service procedures designed to safeguard guests and volunteers will be in effect and strictly enforced. Bags of food will be prepared in advance and served to visitors outside the Old Whalers’ Church (44 Union St.) basement door. Clients will be served in alphabetical order, using the letter of their last names as follows:
A-B, 10 a.m.
C-H, 10:30 a.m.
J-O, 11 a.m.
P-R, 11:15 a.m.
S-Y, 11:30 a.m
New clients will be served beginning at 11:45 a.m. Pantry staff will turn away people who attempt to violate the new rules. If you have a vehicle, they ask you to wait in it and refrain from congregating outside the church. If it rains, bring an umbrella, as no one will be permitted inside.

Suffolk Cares (homebound delivery):  Many people are seeking assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, often for the first time in their lives. Those who are homebound may have a particularly hard time finding help. Suffolk Cares is ready to deliver emergency food to those in need who are homebound or immobile in Suffolk County. Personal information will be kept private. Food will be delivered rapidly and safely.

How It Works:

  • Call 311 if you are in need of food and do not have ANY access to transportation
  • You will be asked a few questions as part of Suffolk’s 311 assessment
  • When approved for food delivery, you will receive a box of non-perishable food items within 24-30 hours of your request
  • Non-perishable food items will be dropped at your place of residence-no contact with delivery person
  • Call 311 Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am-4:30pm (if you call on a Friday, food will be delivered on Monday)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications and case re-certification can be submitted electronically at or by mail (instead of coming to a center). Additionally, SNAP benefits can be used for online grocery purchases. Participating retailers include Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite.

Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services (FRES) has a survey request form if you are a Suffolk County healthcare entity that needs supplies. 

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork has a 24/7 Little Free Pantry to all of those in need. Located at 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Suffolk County has information on their public assistance process available online

Where can I get help with Medicaid Enrollment or other Insurance?

Medicaid: Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council offers Telephone Medicaid Enrollment Assistance. The NYS Department of Health (DOH) has allowed the Hospital Council to provide Medicaid enrollment assistance by phone to adults and children disabled or blind and anyone over the age of 65. Documentation requirements have been relaxed to make it easier for people to apply during this time. Please call 631-656-9783 or check their website.  As messages come in, staff working remotely will be assigned to callers to provide assistance.  They are also able to answer any questions people may have regarding utilizing insurance, understanding their benefits, finding specialists, etc.  

HIICAP (Health Insurance Information Counseling Assistance Program): trained volunteers provide guidance to those with questions involving Medicare. An Information Line (631) 979-9490 x18 is provided and counselors return calls in a timely manner. 

Medicare: Their direct line is 1-800-Medicare

New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a health plan through NY State of Health through May 15, 2021. If you recently lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus. 

Other resources: Suffolk County HIICAP offers a Telephone Reassurance Program. It is a well-check phone call and not just for homebound seniors. If you would like a phone call during this time, please contact (631) 979-9490 x21.

How has COVID-19 affected my Medicare coverage?

Medicare has further temporarily expanded coverage of telehealth services. Additional key services which Medicare has expanded due to the crisis include LabTests for COVID-19 and all medically necessary hospitalizations (this includes if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to stay in the hospital under quarantine instead of being discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay.) For more details on your Medicare coverage see

How can I help?

Besides staying in your home to slow the spread of Coronavirus, there are ways you can safely help your neighbors:

Save Sag Harbor: Contact to sign up for their volunteer message board.

OLA of Eastern Long Island, which provides services to the East End’s Latino community, is looking for volunteers from Riverhead to East Hampton to help families in need. Prospective volunteers can send OLA a private Facebook message or call (631) 899-3441 and leave a message with your name, number, and town. You can also donate through their website.

Sag Harbor Helpers: Join their Facebook group to connect with our neighbors that could use some assistance. Volunteers are needed.

The Sag Harbor Food Pantry is working with a small and able crew. The easiest way that you can help them with their work is to send a check to Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, PO Box 1241, Sag Harbor, NY. 11963. The pantry is a 501c3 NFP and your donation is tax-deductible. No volunteers are needed at present, and they are trying to keep staff limited for safety. If you would like to donate items, please visit their website for a list.

If you have any of the listed goods, there’s a big blue container on the west side of the Old Whalers’ Church (44 Union St.) where they can be left.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork is looking for donations of unexpired, unopened, shelf-stable food and personal products for their Little Free Pantry located at 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. If you prefer, items can be picked up from your home. Please call 631-525-6000 or message them on Facebook to arrange this.

Temple Adas Israel’s Social Justice Committee has partnered with OLA of Eastern Long Island to provide weekly food for local families. You can help this effort by emailing for more information and how to volunteer. You do not need to be a member of Temple Adas Israel to sign up. All are welcome to help.

East End Cares, in partnership with The Clamshell Foundation, are seeking donations. All money raised goes to Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton, and Montauk food pantries.

This whole situation is very overwhelming. Is there someone I can talk to?

Yes, New York State has set up the COVID-19 Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314 . It is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help. More information can be found on the NYS Office of Mental Health website.

I do not feel safe at home or I am worried about a loved one’s situation at home. How can I get help?

The Retreat, based in East Hampton, is still providing free, confidential services to all. The Retreat’s mission is to provide safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence. Please reach out to the 24-hour bilingual hotline at 631-329-2200 to leave a message and they will call you back. The deaf victim’s protection crisis line is 1-321-800-3323.

LI Against Domestic Violence is also still providing their free, confidential 24/7 hotline, which can be reached at 631-666-8833. Orders of protection are still being provided, as well as access to the Safe Harbor Shelter.

Update: New York State has launched a 24/7 confidential texting program and online service. If you are worried that you may be overheard talking on the phone, text 844-997-2121. You can also visit NY State’s Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence website.

Where can I find information on creating Advance Directives in case I become critically ill?

The library cannot give legal advice, however you can explore our resource for self-service legal help, LawDepot.  The New York State Attorney General’s website also has information for New York residents explaining key terms and questions to ask yourself and your loved ones when preparing to create Advanced Directives.

I lost my job, how can I get unemployment benefits?

You can file a claim online with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL)
NYSDOL has a new filing system based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name:
A – F : Monday
G – N : Tuesday
O – Z : Wednesday
Missed your day: Thursday and Friday
Filing later in the week will not delay payments; claims are effective on the Monday of the week they are filed.

Help! My 12-step program has been canceled, what do I do?

Now, more than ever, we need the support of our community. Many 12-step programs have opened online groups and individual chat sessions. Find out more at

I can see this FAQ list, but some of my friends don’t have computers or the internet. What can they do?

Library staff is available to answer any phone calls or reference questions between the hours of 10:30 am – 5:30 pm Tuesday – Friday, and 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturdays. We also are able to lend out Chromebooks and mobile hotspots for short time periods in a limited capacity to patrons with JJML library cards. Please call (631) 725-0049 or email us at for more information. 

What about the future?

Hi, this is Cathy Creedon, Director. I don’t know about the future—but our past offers one answer: Olive Pratt Young, the first librarian at JJML, closed for three weeks during the 1918 influenza epidemic. On reopening she wrote, these “have been troublous and worrisome times, but it has all come out right…it shall be our duty and our pride to manage the trust that has been placed in our hands.” I was comforted by her words when I made the tough decision to close during our own “troublous” time.

What are your thoughts about the future? If you keep a journal during the days ahead, let us know—we will add it to our collection. If you take photographs or video, send them to us at Rebecca Grabie, our Local Content Librarian, has already created a digital COVID-19 Sag Harbor Archive—I know that weeks and months and years from now our voices will be remembered.