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Behind the scenes while we were closed

What did we do while the library was closed? We prepared for the day we would reopen.

Once the region entered Phase 3, we started Lobby Service on May 20th and it run the entire month of June. In May 489 items were checked out through Lobby Service, and in June 2,681 items circulated. It was fun waving at patrons through the glass! Staff pulled books (and dvd’s, and other stuff) based on your requests. The material was checked out to you, bagged, and placed on tables in our lobby ready for pick up. Each morning the tables were full, by afternoon not so much.

We rearranged the library in preparation for the Phase 4 reopening on July 6th. We worked to space everything for social distancing. In the Youth area, Lynn Sheedy removed everything moveable from the youth area into the meeting room. Ron Reeland stored the main floor chairs in the study rooms and book saleroom. The adult computers were shifted for the 6-foot minimum. Ron Reeland cleaned and sealed the floors in the meeting room, lobbies, entries, and restrooms. They shine so you need to wear sunglasses!

Staff shelf-read the entire collection, an incredibly boring but important task. This is how we find misshelved books, putting them back into their homes. We also washed down shelves – we do this every year but it is amazing how dirty the shelves get between washings. (The water was really disgusting.)

Staff completed an inventory of the youth collection. After 3 passes through the collection, less than .005% items were unaccounted for. What does this mean? That our catalog is nearly an exact representation of the collection – that when a patron places a hold they know they will receive the item.

The annual summer weed of the collection impacted the young adult, dvd, and large print collections. We weeded material which had not circulated in 24 months, our standard time frame. The large print books are going to Liberty Village for distribution/sharing among residents at the Estates, Manor, and Hawthorne locations. The residents are loving the books. Emily Schaub worked with several individuals to locate homes for the weeded YA and Manga books.

RAILS resumed delivery on June 29th. Yeah! They began with a weekly delivery the two prior weeks – moving over 40,000 items – relativity normal daily load for them. On the 29th and 30th, our delivery load was quite heavy, bringing us 3 months’ worth of holds by our patrons. The Lobby Service was quite busy!

We changed our quarantine time from 7 days to 3 days based on results from the OCLC REALM study. The REALM study is determining how long the coronavirus lives (stays alive) on various library materials – books (hard and paper), dvd’s (cases and disc), paper (magazines, newspapers, etc.), and other items owned by libraries and museums that are touched by people. We will continue to quarantine material until the pandemic ends.

Lynn Sheedy created our first (but not last) online reading program – In This Together! The reading challenge encourages all ages (birth-99) to read and participate in various online activities. The challenge began on June 15th, running through August 15th. Participants (or their parents) log minutes read, earning badges and tickets towards prizes. This year the prizes are gift cards for local businesses. A few In This Together! stats – the first week 134 registered with 10,786 minutes read. By the 30th, 194 had registered with 30,375 minutes read. About 150 registered are children (0-12) and the rest are adults (13-99). Have questions about the challenge? Contact us at or 815-223-0229. Remember, it isn’t too late to start your challenge.

All in all, we were busy while waiting to see you again.