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A message about our phased reopening

July 16, 2020 07:15 PM
© Heidi Smith, Library DIrector

First, on behalf of our Library staff, thank you. Your feedback, your patience, and your support these last four months has meant so much to us. We are expanding and adding services we can offer you while still doing our part to keep our community safe.  

What we’ve done

Since closing on March 13, we’ve created dozens of new and virtual programs for kids and adults to participate in via Zoom and Facebook Live. We established a way to get library materials to you in a safe and efficient way. We worked out a way to safely take back the 28,000 library items you borrowed before the shutdown out of your home. We are isolating them in our building per public health officials’ recommendations so that they can get back out for others to borrow. Our staff fields calls and live chats, giving book recommendations and finding the answers to your questions.

What we’re expanding now

This week, we reopened our second floor computer area and welcomed our first cardholders back into the building by appointment. We hope this is especially helpful to anyone who may not have internet access at home or who may be embarking on a job search. We’ve also resumed our Homebound Delivery service, so that patrons who can’t get to the Library can still have access to materials.

What’s next?

This is the question on everyone’s mind this week. First, some good news: we will soon be offering Inter-library loans of materials through our consortium of 29 area libraries starting July 21. This means less wait time for books because there is a greater inventory of titles available. When you search our catalog, starting next Tuesday, you’ll be searching the inventory of 20 libraries instead of one.

We are working on expanding access next. We’ve received many requests: more pickup and computer appointments at more varied times, general browsing, drop-in pickup and more.

We are making decisions based on several factors: state reopening guidelines; the feedback we receive from you; the spaces in our building available for use by the general public; and how much of that space we need to continue to isolate returned materials before putting them back into circulation, to name a few. We are working on the next phases of our reopening, and we will announce our next steps in detail next week. Your safety and that of our staff is our highest priority, and we will continue to make decisions about further steps with that in mind.    

Please continue to stay connected with us for the latest information. If you have any questions or feedback, email me at

Thank you, Park Ridge!



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