From staff reports
The Palos Heights Library announced this week it will welcome Palos Heights patrons back into the building with limited hours and services beginning Monday, July 6.
Library Director Jesse Blazek and his staff have been planning for weeks for this day while still running the online chat service and Curveside Pickup on a shortened schedule.
Blazek has made sure extra safety measures have been put in place for the protection of staff and the community.
“We are excited to open the doors again,” Blazek said. “Things will look a bit different but we are here to provide the quality of service we are known for.”
Extra precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patrons and staff. All visitors to the library will be required to wear masks over their nose and mouth and practice social distancing. Cleaning practices have been increased, and all returned items have been quarantined before being put back into circulation.
When the library reopens, patrons will be able to checkout materials and request items and Curveside Pickup and Homebound Delivery will also be available. Patrons may visit the Public Services Desk for reference questions and place holds. The stacks will be closed to browsing, but library staff will be available to recommend and get items for the public.
Blazek recognizes that many people want things to get back to “normal” and emphasized that this will be the new normal for now.
The copy/fax/scan service will also be open and library staff will be working that service. Payment for copies may be made with credit card or billed to the patron’s library account to be paid at home.
The Computer Lab will also look different. Because of social distancing practices, seating in the lab will be restricted and computer and Wi-Fi use will be limited to Palos Heights residents for one hour per person per day. Reservations will be required to use the public computers and may be made by calling the library at 708-448-1473 or visiting the Public Services Desk.
Blazek said certain areas of the library will not be available to the public in order to maintain a safe and clean environment. Any public seating, including the Quiet Reading Room, all study rooms and study tables, and the youth play areas will be closed to the public. Newspapers and magazines will not be available and the Meeting and Conference rooms will also be closed to the public.
Karen Skocik, Head of Circulation, along with her staff, is one of the first to greet visitors as they enter the library. “We’ve missed seeing everyone. Even with the circumstances as they are today, we know seeing our patrons will make us smile and hope we do the same for them.”
Beginning July 6, the library’s temporary hours will be Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All updates will be posted on the library’s website at phlibrary.org and on their social media sites.