Greetings ODL Patrons!
We hope you are having a great summer despite everything this year has thrown at us so far. We have two very big announcements!
PROUD TO BE FINE FREE!
We want to start your July off right with two big announcements. First, the Otsego District Library will be going FINE FREE! The library realizes the barrier to access that fines create for some families and we wish to remove these barriers. In the current phased-based models of service, and with the necessity of quarantining returned materials, collecting overdue fines does not work. It will take some time to get through this process, so please be patient as we work on eliminating overdue fines. Our current priority has been getting the library ready to reopen but we are also excited to announce this good news. Replacement costs for lost and damaged items and materials recovery costs will not be waived but regular overdue fines on books and movies will be!
Regular check out limits will still apply, so you still will need to renew your items to avoid being charged for the materials. The Materials Borrowing Policy will be edited to reflect this change this month. Enjoy your fine free library! We believe that the goodwill in our community by eliminating fines will help our yearly donations to increase. You can make a donation to ODL anytime, from anywhere, at our PayPal account on the “Donate to your Library” button on our website!
Our second big announcement is we hope to OPEN our doors again in mid-July!
The library staff have been very busy working hard to prepare for “Phase 4” of our reopening plan. The goal is to open to the public again on MONDAY, JULY 13! We are getting closer to being ready but still have some shields to install, staff training to go through, interior repair work to do, and final cleaning projects to wrap up. The drive up window will remain available during our next phase. All holds must still be picked up at the drive-up window.
Our social distance phase of the library is a “grab and go” model. We ask that you keep library visits brief so others can also use the building safely. We know that you are eager to be back in the library, but we need to limit lingering and gathering at this time.
When we reopen our doors to the public there will be limitations in place and the library will look quite different to you temporarily:
- 40 PEOPLE, ONE HOUR VISITS: No more than 40 patrons will be in the building at one time and we ask those patrons to limit their time to no more than one hour once per day. If the building is at capacity of 40 you will be asked to wait outside or in your car until others leave.
- LIMITED GROUPS: Please try to limit your group sizes when you visit, if at all possible, so we can accommodate as many as possible.
- MASKS REQUIRED: Under current legal guidelines in order for us to be open, all visitors (with the exception of those who cannot medically tolerate it and children under age 2) are required to wear a mask. The library will provide you with a mask if you need one.
- DO NOT COME SICK: If you are sick or have been around someone diagnosed with Covid-19 we ask that you stay home.
- COMPUTER SANITIZING AND SHORTENED TIME LIMITS: The computers will be open with a limited capacity and a 60 minute time limit, no extended time will be permitted on the computers. The computers will have keyboard covers and stations will be sanitized after use. Copies, printing and Fax services will resume as normal.
- TEMPORARILY CLOSED: Newspapers and Launchpads will be unavailable for circulation. All board games and interactive activities are in temporary storage, as well as much of the library furniture and seating. The Early Literacy Center, History Room, Teen Nook, Study Rooms, and Program rooms will be closed. Indoor book drop, coffee, water bottle station, and water fountain are closed.
- RESTROOMS: Bathrooms will be available but only cleaned once per day, not between uses.
- COLLECTION CHANGES: Touch screen catalogs are closed. Library displays, new shelves, and book easels are not out in this phase, to limit repeat browsing. All items, including new materials, will be shelved on the regular shelves. The staff has been spending a large amount of time cleaning and sanitizing all the shelves throughout the library.
- HAIL DAMAGE UPDATE: We also may have some projects still being wrapped up from our roof recovery from the hail damage. Some interior work is still being done and the skylights still need to be replaced. These projects are in motion but not completed. All the skylights need to be custom ordered and created. We are not sure yet if the skylight replacement will mean a service interruption or not.
- HOW WE ARE TRYING TO BE SAFE: For everyone’s safety and to reduce the spread of germs, we have installed shields on the service desks, spread out computer stations, and sanitizer stations are set up around the library. We ask that patrons do not hand materials or library cards to our staff. Staff will be trained in how to keep transactions as contactless as possible. Only the outdoor book/materials return drop will be open. The interior book drop will not be available. Do not bring materials you are returning into the library; utilize the drive thru book drop instead. No food or beverage will be permitted in the building. One-way aisle markers and social distancing signage have been placed throughout the building. All incoming materials will continue to be “quarantined” for 3 days. Programs will continue to be virtual.
- QUARANTINE BROWSE BINS: The library requests that you only handle material you want to check out, however if you do browse an item and decide you don’t want it, please place it in one of our Quarantine Browse Bins to be sanitized by quarantine for 72 hours.
- EVEN WITH ALL OF THESE GOOD FAITH EFFORTS, THE LIBRARY IS A PUBLIC SPACE AND WE CAN NOT GUARANTEE THE BUILDING WILL BE SANITIZED AT ALL TIMES. While staff will work hard to sanitize computer stations and touch points throughout the day, there is no way that the library can guarantee a completely germ- free environment in a public space. We urge you to use our drive up window or send a relative/friend if you are immune compromised. We ask for your cooperation as a community to not visit if you or your family are or have been sick in the last 14 days, wear your masks, wash your hands, keep visits brief and to the point, and continue utilizing the drive up window for your holds. It is our desire to keep our staff and community safe.
Although these temporary limitations have been put in place, we continue to hope for the good health of our community and look forward to the day when we can return to full service.
Library leadership will continue to monitor conditions daily and adjust services accordingly. If things for Allegan County change, we may need to pause and step back a phase.
We hope you have a great summer and we have been so happy to see some of you again at our drive up window!