COVID FAQ

Questions About Our Current Status

Please see our COVID-19 Resource page for more information about what services are currently available. This FAQ page was last updated on May 26, 2021.

Q: Do you know when you will expand hours?
A: Yes! Monday, April 5. Check out our announcement for details.

Q: When will you be offering in-person programming again?
A: We don't know for sure. At present, our programming rooms are being used to store furniture that had to be removed for social distancing. Our ability to offer in-person programming is largely dependent on restrictions being relaxed enough that we do not need that space for storage. We have some outdoor programs planned for the summer of 2021 and we are evaluating how to move forward with fall programs. We anticipate making an announcement about our plans for fall 2021 later this summer.

Q: Why aren't you doing more in-person programs for the summer?
A: Programming is planned several months in advance due to presenter schedules, as well as our newsletter timeline. When summer programs were confirmed this spring, Illinois had not yet made any changes to its restrictions on gatherings and it was not clear that changes would be in place in time for us to offer many in-person programs this summer. Additionally, many presenters have different rates and availability depending on whether or not the program is virtual or in person; these factors also had to be taken into consideration as we made plans for the summer. We made the decision to stay mostly virtual based on the information that we had at the time.

Q: I need to print/copy/fax a document—can I do that?
A: Yes! Visit our Document Services page for information on our new drop-off service, or you can come in during open hours.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask to pickup my Curbside Pickup order or to visit during public hours?
A: Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals ages 2 and up. Vaccinated individuals do not have to wear a mask, but we are asking that you please be considerate and continue to practice social distancing. All patrons visiting the children's department must wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.  Please see our recent announcement about our mask practices for more information.

Q: Why are masks required in the Children's Department?
A: This decision was made in order to mirror the state's current requirements for schools. This decision was also based on the service population for the Children's Department, which includes a large population of unvaccinated individuals.

Q: I have questions that weren’t addressed by this FAQ, or I’d like to speak more in-depth to someone about this. Who should I contact and how?
A: We are always happy to talk to patrons. You can contact Eric Bailey, our director, with any questions.

Questions About Previous Service Plans and Closures

Curious about some of our previous reopening plans? Take a look at some of our old FAQs for more information and context about previous closings related to the pandemic. Please see our COVID Resource page for information about our current services.

Q: Why did you close again?
A: The decision to suspend open hours was made based on the following factors:

  • A substantial increase in community spread of COVID-19 in both Lake Bluff and Lake County.
  • Warnings and advisories from state and local health officials.
  • Similar closures at other public libraries in the area.

Additionally, we felt that proactively shifting to a fully contactless service model would allow us to provide the most consistent level of service.

Q: Why didn't you reopen immediately when relaxed restrictions were announced?
A: In addition to ensuring that the reductions in community spread held, preparing the building to reopen takes time and planning. The delay between restrictions being relaxed and the building being open for public hours included work such as staff scheduling, coordinating reopening tasks among staff, staging the building to resume service, preparing publicity announcing the change, making adjustments to our circulation system to account for in-person borrowing, and other tasks in addition to maintaining existing services such as curbside pickup and virtual programming. 

Q: I can see that you have staff members in the building on Curbside days and before open hours. What are you doing?
A: The building is staffed in a limited capacity in order to run curbside service and maintain social distancing. Staff members are monitoring phones, preparing orders, pulling holds, shelving, checking materials in and out, and working on other library projects. Many of our staff members also continue to work from home.