The American Philatelic Center reopens for modified operations beginning on Monday May 11, 2020. The headquarters of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library has been closed since March 22, 2020. APS and APRL employees have been working remotely during the closure period.
Under the modified operations, limited staff access is permissible with health and safety standards. The American Philatelic Center will remain closed to APS members and the public until no earlier than June 1, 2020 and could be extended.
No facility rentals will be available until further notice.
American Philatelic Society Executive Director Scott English made that announcement during a joint APS/APRL Town Hall meeting on Monday, May 4.
~~~Watch the entire APS/APRL Town Hall Meeting on the APS YouTube Channel~~~
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf designated Centre County (home of the APC) to transition to "yellow phase." Pennsylvania rates regions from red (most serious) to yellow (transitional) to green (all clear). The yellow phase allows businesses to open with modified operations while adhering to health and safety guidelines set by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
APS and APRL employees necessary to operate will follow staggered work schedules, social distancing, use of face masks and increased focus on safe cleaning procedures.
English noted that there are two primary goals to achieve immediately: increase member services as quickly as possible and maintain a safe environment for APS and APRL staff.
The first stage of the reopening will involve aggressively addressing backlogs in the Big Four: Circuit Sales, StampStore, Expertizing and Library Services. While member services have continued, the two-month closure disrupted full service delivery.
~~~Learn about buying and selling through the APS StampStore~~~
The remaining departments, Education, Content, and Membership will operate primarily remotely during the "yellow phase." Members can communicate seamlessly with all employees in those departments.
In his remarks, English thanked APS Board of Directors member Michael Bloom for securing and donating 1,000 face masks for employee use while working at the APC. He also thanked Big Spring Distillery for supplying a large quantity of hand sanitizer produced at its Match Factory location.
For those interested in supporting the APS and APRL staff in these challenging times, please donate to the "APS Cares" program. A group of APS members established the fund to thank the hardworking men and women of Team APS to help maintain payroll or as bonuses at the end of the year. Several employees (Doris Wilson, Kathleen Edwards and Helen Bruno) have been featured in articles recently on the APS website sharing their favorite APS memories. Future staff profiles will be posted in the weeks ahead.