Navigating COVID-19 together
Putting people & safety first
To help continue to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to serve our community, the library is reintroducing services and reopening buildings in stages, following clearly defined service levels. This plan, approved by the Board of Library Trustees at its April 28 meeting, continues to evolve and be informed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the state of Illinois, and the Oak Park Public Health Department. See a summary of service levels in the graphic below, and read our full COVID-19 Response Plan (pdf) »
The library is prepared to move back to earlier service stages if we see the health, safety, and well-being of our staff members and community members would require that action. To stay open, we need to stay safe.
Outside contact-free holds pickup at Main Library only. All buildings, parking garage remain closed to public.
Only Main Library open with capacity and self-service limits. Public computer use only by reservation for Oak Park cardholders. Contact-free home delivery.
Full service restored. Dole & Maze reopen. In-person library programs return, including onsite storytime, outreach to preschools.
Now (Service Level 2): Main Library open Mondays-Saturdays, 10 am-6 pm
- Self-service: Coming inside? Here’s what you need to know »
- Virtual service: Use your public library without entering the building »
Next: Anticipating Service Level 3
- We return to “our new normal.”
- Maze and Dole Branches re-open (with when depending on local and state assessment of risk.)
- Context: Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state. Either a vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period. Physical distancing is no longer required for safety.
- Summary: Staff assistance is available at all three buildings. Device checkouts for in-house use is permitted. Public computers are open to all cardholders, all open building hours. Seating is available throughout the library for extended stays. In person meetings, events, and outreach programs resume.
About physical materials access
Inside on tables in the first floor vestibule and lobby and at curbside book drops:
- In Village of Oak Park Parking Lot 55 (at North Boulevard between Kenilworth and Oak Park avenues). See on Google Maps »
- At Maze Branch on Gunderson Avenue.
- At Dole Branch on Augusta Street.
- Please note: You are responsible for items left outside book drops. If drops are full, please do not leave items next to or on top of the drop. Thank you!
Before items are checked in, and anything found pulled from the shelves, is quarantined. This means it will take longer than it used to for your account to reflect the updated status of your returned items.
- The library’s Facilities Team makes multiple trips each day to empty all five book drops, then boxes those items for quarantine. Our goal is to get items back into circulation as safely and as quickly as possible!
- Why quarantine? Unlike retail stores and restaurants that can offer more one-way transactions, including pickup and delivery, libraries circulate items between many people. This poses a different health risk to staff and the public, both when they are handled and returned. Learn more about the research »
Yes. When logged into your library account, you can add titles you want to remember to “My Lists.” Find instructions from SWAN here »
For now, due dates for all SWAN library materials have been extended as needed. SWAN is a consortium of nearly 100 west suburban libraries, and when it comes to late fines, the lending library’s rules apply. It can be confusing, so if you have questions, please contact us.
Yes, but please note that many university and public libraries are currently unable to fill interlibrary loan requests. This may cause delays, or we may be unable to fill your request at this time. Visit oppl.org/requests to get started »
No, please do not bring materials donations (books, DVDs, CDs) to any location. Find area locations who may accept book donations now »
- Don’t microwave library items. Most have RFID tags that can catch on fire in a microwave.
- Don’t leave library materials in a hot car, as extreme heat can damage them.
- Don’t expose library items to ultraviolet light, which also can damage them.
- Don’t spray library items with disinfectant, which can damage covers and pages. You may use sanitizing wipes on plastic book covers and DVD and CD cases.
All returns (and all items found in and around the library pulled from their proper place on the shelves) are placed in quarantine before being checked in and reshelved. This means it will take longer than it used to for your account to reflect changes. More »
Visits to the Main Library will look a lot different than they did during pre-COVID-19 times. Face coverings are required, gathering spaces are unavailable, and visits are limited to 1 hour or less. See more about how we are working together to keep each other safe »
About summer reading, in-person events, meetings & community visits
Not until Service Level 3.
Learn more about using virtual meeting spaces.