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 September 14, 2021.

Q: When will you be offering in-person programming again?
A: We will be offering in-person programming starting in September, health and safety permitting. All programming will be offered in compliance with state and local guidance on gatherings. In the event that the guidance on gatherings changes, we will update our programming plans to ensure the health and safety of staff and patrons. Any changes made to the programming schedule will be posted on the website as soon as possible.

Q: Why didn't you offer more in-person programs this 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 all visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Please see our most recent announcement about mask rules at the Library.

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.