Service Update from the Director
The Lake Bluff Public Library’s physical facilities have been closed to the public since March 13, 2020 in partnership with the Village of Lake Bluff’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While we have laid the groundwork for offering modified in-person service and access to physical materials, the many unknowns in the ongoing situation mean that there is no specific timetable for their implementation. This crisis has posed significant challenges to the Library in terms of providing access to materials, programs, and services, and Library staff members have been working from home to make sure that we are still available and operational as a resource to the community.
Services available to the community include:
- Digital collections of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and streaming videos with increased checkout limits and collections.
- Virtual programming shared through social media and the Library website..
- The Lake Bluff Strong website and initiative, created in partnership with the community.
- The Seed Library, with seeds now available through the mail.
- News and resources related to COVID-19.
- Answering reference questions via email.
- Offering assistance to local teachers and schools with distance learning resources.
- Issuing temporary cards, so that patrons can access online resources.
Many patrons have asked when we will be reopening the library. Although we wish we could make the Library available to in-person visitors right away, we are prioritizing the safety of our patrons, staff, and the community. Circulating physical materials, plus the many direct and indirect interpersonal interactions that occur at the Library, represent a great opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. The shelter-in-place order still remains in effect, and it is not yet clear that cases in Illinois have peaked. We also do not yet have a list of best practices for how to safely provide in-person library services during this time, although the Institute of Museum and Library Services has been researching this issue and will hopefully be issuing guidelines sometime in May.
We are committed to being a responsible partner in the Village of Lake Bluff’s response to this crisis, and we are involved in the ongoing discussions among North Shore libraries, the Lake County Health Department and the State of Illinois regarding the timetable for loosening restrictions. We continue to gather information, expand our available services, and plan for the day that our physical collections and building are again available to the community. We will provide updates as we are able.
For everyone in Lake Bluff, we look forward to seeing you again sometime soon. Stay well.
Lake Bluff Public Library