COVID-19 Considerations for Our Library
March 12, 2020
Everyone is welcome at Skokie Public Library. What does that mean during a public health situation like the one we are now experiencing with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19?
We are monitoring the latest recommendations from the CDC, the Cook County Health Department and the Skokie Health Department and acting based on accurate information from trusted sources. Because the circumstances are rapidly changing, we may need to adjust our strategies and we will update this page accordingly.
Here’s what you can expect at the library today:
- We are canceling all public events in March as a precaution. This is based on CDC recommendations for community events. As the situation develops, we will evaluate whether the cancellations should continue into April. We plan to reschedule as many events as we can in the future.
- Our Building Services staff have increased the frequency of our cleaning procedures, using disinfecting products to treat shared surfaces, computers, handrails, touch screens, and other high-traffic areas multiple times a day. If you see an area that you feel is in need of attention, please let a staff member know.
- Tables and chairs, including computer workstations, will be spread further apart to create more space between individuals and allow for more effective cleaning.
- Toys have been temporarily removed from the Youth Services area.
- We have made hand sanitizer, wipes, tissues, and other supplies readily available throughout the building, and we encourage both staff and patrons to use them whenever needed.
- Our staff and volunteers have all been advised on how to practice healthy habits. You may see some of our staff using hand sanitizer or stepping away from their desks temporarily to wash their hands. This does not mean that they are sick. Even healthy people can transmit infections to others, so we may take extra hygienic precautions in order to reduce the spread of germs.
- We’ve asked any staff member or volunteer who is not feeling well to stay home from work.
- Patrons exhibiting signs of illness like a cough or fever should stay home.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the library without visiting in person! You can download eBooks; listen to downloadable or streaming audiobooks; stream movies, TV shows, and music; read comics and magazines; take online classes; read newspapers; learn new languages, and much more. Browse our website for information about checking out online materials and resources. Follow us on YouTube and Instagram to stay connected.
And to make it easier for everyone to enjoy library materials, starting next Tuesday, March 17 we will eliminate all overdue fines, waive all existing fines (excluding replacement costs and collections fees), and start automatically renewing all eligible items.
The library’s management team is working closely with area officials to adapt our approach as the situation develops. We will update this blog in order to share what we are doing to continue safely serving our diverse community during these complicated times.
This virus does not discriminate by nationality, race, or economic status. By working together, we can try to reduce contagion and protect our most at-risk neighbors and ourselves.