They're safe, quiet places on any given day, but lately, they've been more quiet than ever before.

Libraries across the state have been forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the community is feeling the effects.

"It's a difficult time for everyone," said Jennifer Keysor, Broome County Library Head of Information Services. "It's a difficult time for the library too. We do provide a lot of free services and people miss that."

Most of those services include internet use.

And as thousands look to file for unemployment, many are without the needed resources.

The Broome County Library has roughly 40 computers and they're almost always being used.

"Our WiFi is still going, but a lot of people just don't have that computer and they're missing it," Keysor said. "We have heard from a lot of people that say we miss the library. We can't wait to come back."

But at this point, it's unclear which reopening phase of the state guidelines that libraries fall into.

In the meantime, staff from Broome, Tioga, and beyond are prepared.

"We have developed a plan so all the libraries open at once and they develop the same steps. It's a way to cut down on confusion for people. We will do it in stages probably," said Keysor.

The plan would start with accepting returns, then moving to a curbside pickup program.

When the buildings finally do reopen, only a limited amount of people would be allowed inside.

In the meantime, temporary library cards and Ebook programs are being offered, along with a brand-new murder mystery game featuring library staff.

"It was really fun to create," Keysor said. "So far, today was the first day I checked the email to see who responded and we got a number of responses and people seem really excited about it."

While the definite answer is unclear, libraries expect to open in either phase two or four.