In response to new restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library announced operational changes.
On Thursday, December 10, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf ordered temporary mitigation measures impacting all non-life sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to take effect at 12:01am Saturday, December 12, 2020. This order is a result of recent increases in deaths and positive tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only essential employees whose presence is necessary to meet the operational needs of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library will be working inside the APC. All others will telecommute during this period. Governor Wolf’s order is set to expire at 8 am Monday, January 4, 2021.
“As confirmed cases of COVID continue to rise in Pennsylvania and across the country, we remain committed to doing all we can to stop the spread,” said Scott English, Executive Director, “We continue to effectively balance the needs of our membership and maintaining a safe and healthy team here in Bellefonte.”
All APS and APRL services will continue during the mitigation orders, including publication of The American Philatelist and Philatelic Literature Review. Mailings of stamps, ephemera, books and gifts ordered through the APS StampStore and APRL will continue but may be delayed.
Here is more information about specific departments and services:
American Philatelic Center:
The APC remains closed to all visitors. The holiday operating schedule includes several days off for all employees of APS and APRL.
American Philatelic Research Library:
Telephone and mail communications with staff remain available. Library requests will be answered in the order in which they were received.
During this time requests can be sent by email.
Circuit Sales will continue. Seller supplies can be ordered but expect delays in shipping. Seller checks may be delayed.
For Circuit Questions, email Carol Hoffman.
StampStore.org is open for business. Orders, payments and new submissions are being processed. Expect delays in shipping as we fill orders during this time.
For StampStore questions, email Carol Hoffman.
APEX will continue to accept new orders, and process existing certificate requests.
For Expertizing Questions, email Ken Martin.
Library and Sales & Donated Materials Curbside Services:
The APS and APRL will continue to provide expanded curbside services described in the APC Operations Update on June 6, 2020. Effective on Monday, December 14, 2020, members will drop off or pick up material from the cabinet located just outside the front door of the APC. Staff will leave materials in the cabinet labeled for members prior to the scheduled pick-up time. Staff will not leave the building when members are present to pick up or drop-off materials. If members have questions, they can contact the Reception Desk at (814)-933-3803.
Additionally, please expect the following:
Members can call the APS and APRL and leave messages, which will be retrieved remotely, and calls will be returned.
The American Philatelic Center will continue to receive mail. Members should expect a delay in responses or some actions during this time. Please expect delays in processing membership applications.
Members can use the APS website to make payments online. There may be processing delays for payments.
We will continue to update the APS website as events warrant.
While we’re all working on social distancing, please remember to call a friend, connect online, or get your stamp club to host a meeting. We will be providing opportunities to connect philatelically and we hope to see you.
We continue to offer online meetings to connect with fellow APS members, view educational offerings, and speak directly with APS offices about managing through the pandemic. More information is available on our website.
We continue to update our stamp show closure or delay list online. Check the updated list here.
If you are a show organizer and have an update regarding your stamp show, please email Wendy Masorti or Morgan Stinson.
Our APS dealers are operating and selling stamps and other philatelic material. Take an opportunity to search the largest dealer directory in the United States and support fellow APS members. Our directory can be found here.
The American Philatelist Online:
To encourage members and collectors to learn more about the APS, we have lifted the members-only restrictions on accessing The American Philatelist online. Please feel free to share with your fellow collectors and encourage them to connect and learn more about all our great benefits. You can access The American Philatelist here.
“To help collectors remain connected during periods of restrictions, we continue to offer new content and we encourage you to read, watch, and share,” added English. The APS will continue to add engaging information to the APS website, operate and increase our online education offerings, maintain our social media presence.
On behalf of the APS and APRL staff, we ask for your patience and understanding during this period. We will continue to update you as events warrant. We encourage all APS members to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their local and state officials. Please remember to stay connected with fellow collectors remotely through phone, email, or online platforms. Finally, take this time organize and grow your collection.
English offered these final thoughts, “We are on the verge of the first vaccines rolling out to the public and within months of wide distribution of the vaccine. In the meantime, let’s remain vigilant to preventing the spread and keeping our collectors and hobby healthy.”