COVID-19 update, May 1, 2020
When we made the decision to close our doors in early March, due to the pandemic, I could never have guessed that on May 1st we would still be closed! It seems that each new day brings news and advice from health experts and leaders that helps guide us in this unprecedented time.
We thought this would be a good time to start a long-overdue blog. A place that will be updated regularly where you can go to find the latest Library news. Although in the beginning this will be mostly about our re-starting plan, we'll continue this long after this pandemic crisis is over.
We’re looking forward to the day we can meet face to face again. During Ohio’s stay-at-home orders, our executive team, board of trustees, and library administration have been working and planning for the safest way to re-open our library buildings and restart library services in a new and safe way.
I’ve said from the beginning of our closure that the health and safety of our staff and patrons is my highest priority. It is my commitment to not re-open our buildings until we have safety and cleaning protocols in place in order to protect each person who walks through our doors. There are many things to consider as we move forward, and we are planning to do so in a careful and thoughtful way. As we do so, we are taking into consideration the guidance from state and local health officials, our ability to maintain clean and safe environments, and all the while maintaining our commitment to providing access and services that meet the needs of our community.
We have developed a four-phased approach to our re-opening.
We are currently in phase 1 – virtual services. This phase will continue through at least the month of May. All Library buildings will remain closed during this phase. Then we’ll move cautiously into phase 2. This phase may include services like picking up the materials you’ve put on hold at drive-up services and curbside pickup, restarting our ‘Books by Mail’ program, and virtual programming.
I want to emphasize that this will be a slow process. Governor DeWine has referred to the Restart Ohio plan as opening the faucet, and I think that’s a good analogy. The phased approach allows us to be flexible and elastic so that we can quickly ramp up or scale back services, depending on whether the pandemic subsides or flares up again. As Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, has stated, we are going slow now so we can go fast later.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to think of new and innovative ways to serve you. Keep watching your email, social media, and our website for details. In the meantime, remember our virtual resources and services are always available for you. Thank you for your support. We are in this together!
Mary Ellen Icaza
CEO & Executive Director