Letter on the Indian Lake Library Reopening Plans…

It’s been a long, strange summer folks, for all of us.  Although the library building is not open to our patrons, we never truly closed.  Back in March we increased our online holdings for patrons to borrow, and we loaded our website with tons of resources for education and entertainment during the lock down phase of the pandemic.  We also compiled on our site lots of resources for how to deal with a variety of difficulties the COVID-19 situation has brought forth.  We even managed a virtual summer reading program for our elementary grades, and a few other virtual programs. 

Soon after staff were once again allowed to work in the building, we began contactless curbside service and that has been chugging along well.  We recognize that depending on the device you are using to access our catalog it isn’t always easy to find what you want.  Please don’t hesitate to call us for help finding materials.

We want to let you know some changes we have had to make inside the building.  There are no hang out places inside the building, no toys, and no in-person programming.  This stinks.  We don’t like this situation either.  We miss you and we miss the way we used to be open to the public.  The goal is to keep our staff and our patrons as safe as possible.

While the entrance reconstruction is under way, we have no way to monitor the number of patrons who enter the building, so appointment to enter will have to be made in order to comply with new occupancy limits that require social distancing.  This construction was planned well before COVID and delayed by it as well, but it’ll be a nice improvement.  We are grateful to our town guys for making it happen.

We envision the next step to include appointments to use the computer lab.  Only 2 computers will be available to use at a time, for 30 minutes.  The stations will be disinfected by staff in between users.  No browsing for materials will be allowed during this first try at having public in the building.  We are sorry, however you can still get materials delivered curbside.  It simply wouldn’t be fair to allow some to browse, but not others.  We need to limit hours for these activities due to the much more frequent cleaning staff does throughout the day, especially at the end of the day.  By scheduling appointments, we hope to service all of the users who need us.

If computer appointments go well, we plan to add 20-minute long browsing/check out appointments so you can see the stuff we have in the flesh.  No better feeling than finding a treasure on the shelf, we understand.   Browsing hours will be limited per day, and only 3 patrons at a time to begin, but it will be nice to be in the library again, even if the new normal is a bit weird. We’d ask too that caregivers or parents browse for their kiddos instead of bringing them here.

The Indian Lake Library is requiring that everyone over the age of two who enters the library wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.  This requirement is part of the library’s COVID-19 safety response plan passed by its Board of Trustees.

This mask requirement is to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order and the consensus of the scientific and medical communities. Our library serves everyone from the very young to the very old, people with compromised health, and other groups that face severe consequences from a COVID-19 infection.  Our masks protect our community.  Hand sanitizer will be available for patron use too.

Patrons who cannot or will not wear masks may continue to use our contactless curbside pickup service. In fact, we encourage all of our patrons who wish to continue using this service if they are comfortable with it.

We had planned to begin both computer and browsing appointments August 24th, but if these times have taught us anything it is that anything can change anytime.  With an uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases in our county announced August 21st, we are once again reevaluating our timing.  We will keep you posted on when we can expand services safely.

We won’t be the library you know and love for a while yet, but we’ll be closer, soon we hope.  It’s better to be safe above all so that we may remain open and able to serve our patrons, even if it isn’t like it was.   We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and support during these unprecedented times, and ask you to take precautions, be safe, keep well and read on.

Susan Rollings, Library Director

Quesitons?  518-648-5444 or email ind-director@sals.edu

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