The Park Ridge Public Library has canceled all public programs through March 31 in response to recent public health recommendations.
These safety measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution, not due to any known exposure.
Ongoing news of additional Illinois cases of COVID-19, recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the declaration of a global pandemic from the World Health Organization (WHO), were the basis for the Park Ridge Public Library officials’ decision to step up the library’s response.
Health experts have advocated for social distancing — isolating people and canceling gatherings — as a helpful solution to avoid the rapid spread of this infectious disease. Slowing the rate of infection will help “flatten the curve” of new COVID-19 cases and keep the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
All patrons registered for the affected programming are being notified, and efforts will be made to reschedule programs whenever possible.
The library remains open to the public. Visitors will notice additional adjustments designed to minimize exposure risk to both patrons and staff. Toys in the youth area have been temporarily put away. Maintenance staff have increased the frequency of sanitizing high-touch surfaces and have added additional hand sanitizing materials and tissues throughout the building. Seating has been moved farther apart.
Visitors are encouraged to do their part. Follow the public health measures recommended by officials: Stay home if not feeling well. Wash hands frequently. Use the hand sanitizer stations located throughout the library.
Patrons are encouraged to use the Library’s website to access downloadable materials and place physical materials on hold at https://www.parkridgelibrary.org/ebooks-and-downloadables/. Library staff will be available to renew materials that may be due in the days programs are suspended.
Park Ridge is one of several area libraries canceling programming as an early intervention in the developing health crisis. Library officials are following the proactive examples of other institutions around the nation including other Chicago area libraries.
“We feel this is the best way we can support health officials’ efforts during this difficult time,” said Library Director Heidi Smith.
The library is a reliable source of authoritative information, no different for this topic. Those seeking the latest on coronavirus can find links to WHO, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Health Department and more on the library’s website, www.parkridgelibrary.org.
The library will update the public of any further changes to services as soon as information becomes available. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, Library staff suggest the following sources:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization
Illinois Department of Public Health
Questions regarding COVID-19 should be directed to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.
Cook County Health Department
The Cook County Department of Health can be reached at 1-708-633-4000.