With COVID-19 positivity rates on the decline and Gov. J.B. Pritzker loosening restrictions on in-person gatherings, local libraries will again begin welcoming patrons back through their doors on a limited basis starting Feb. 1.
While the Brookfield, North Riverside and Riverside libraries will all continue to offer contact-free curbside pickup of items as well as virtual programming for children and adults, they all differ in how they will welcome back patrons inside at this time.
The libraries’ virtual collections remain available to patrons 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Patrons may visit the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd., by appointment from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Those appointments can be used for general browsing of the collection as well as use services like computers, photocopier, the fax/scanner station and notary services. To make an appointment, patrons need to call 708-485-6917, ext. 130 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrons can also book a one-on-one session via Zoom or phone with a librarian to get specific questions answered. More information is available at brookfieldlibrary.info.
Employees and visitors must wear face coverings at all times, and staff will wipe down equipment and high-touch areas on a regular basis throughout the day. Any item returned to the library will be quarantined for 72 hours.
North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., will reopen its doors to the public six days a week beginning Feb. 1, but entry is limited to the library lobby only, similar to last summer. Browsing the stacks beyond the lobby will not be permitted at this time.
Patrons must make an appointment if they wish to use computers, but staff will be available to assist with finding, holding and checking out items as well as assisting with faxes and copies.
The library is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The first hour Monday through Saturday, from 10 to 11 a.m., is being set aside for senior citizens only.
To make an appointment or to place orders for curbside service, call 708-447-0869. More information is on the library’s website at northriversidelibrary.org. Face coverings are required for all visitors and staff.
If you’d like to visit the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, you don’t need to make an appointment, but staff will be enforcing capacity limits so you may be asked to wait outside until there’s enough room.
You also don’t have to make a reservation to use one of the library’s computers, but they’re recommended to ensure one is available when you visit. Computer sessions are limited to an hour per person per day.
Most seating areas within the library have been removed, but library officials note that the Wi-Fi signal extends to the outdoor benches, reading circle and parking lot (where patron parking is allowed on weekends only).
The library will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the first hour of those days reserved for senior citizens and other at-risk individuals. Curbside service is still available for everyone at that time.
Tuesday and Thursday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., while Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Visitors must wear face coverings and practice social distancing while inside the library. More information is available by calling 708-442-6366 or visiting riversidelibrary.org.