A Message from the Director:
First, I want to tell you how tremendous you have been in the face of the coronavirus threat. Your decisions to stay home, limit outings, wash your hands, wear masks, and look out for each other have not only reduced the spread of COVID-19 and protected our healthcare workers and vulnerable residents, it has also shown the strength, fortitude, and creativity that you bring to bear on any challenge.
I wanted to also thank you all so much for being patient with changes to library service as this crisis has unfolded. You have done an amazing job of learning the new processes and following the procedures that are helping us to still offer some library services in a very low-risk way. I know I can speak for all library staff and say that we miss you and can't wait until we can get together and talk books or movies over a library desk again.
As you are probably aware, Lake County is working on a reopening plan to submit to the Governor's Office. We are working on a reopening plan at the library, too. Part of doing that is grappling with the reality that for the next 12-18 months, we will have to 'change gears' in our library operations in response to the ebb and flow of coronavirus in our communities. There will be times we will need to follow more strict restrictions, and there will be times that we can do things more normally. We are working to figure out what library service looks like under different restriction levels, and how and when to move between levels. We also want to tie the library plan to the local plan for Lake County and the statewide plan from the Governor's Office, neither of which are finalized yet.
We are also working to obtain the necessary equipment and supplies to be able to safely reopen our facilities to the public. We operate buildings full of frequently-touched surfaces that according to CDC and OHA guidelines need to be disinfected regularly. Unfortunately, buying supplies such as disinfecting spray, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, or gloves to use while cleaning is very close to impossible right now for those not in healthcare or an essential service like grocery stores. We are lucky we had enough on hand to continue doing Library Take Out service, but those supplies would quickly be exhausted if we invited the public into our buildings again and needed to regularly disinfect public computers, tables, and chairs.
All of this is to say that things will likely go slower than we want it to go. In the meantime, we will continue to offer Library Take Out, virtual Story Times (via Facebook Live), and all of our online resources for you to use at home. If you need tax forms, or have a time-sensitive copy/print need, we can do those via Library Take Out, too. We look forward to a future where we can invite you back inside your libraries. I wish I could tell you when that might be. We will continue to share information here on our website and on our Facebook page. So stay tuned and stay healthy!
Amy Hutchinson, Library Director