Dear Community Members,
At this time, we are glad to report that there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chippewa or Clark County, and the risk for our area remains low. The school closure, recommendations of social distancing, programming cancellation and suspension, increased cleaning and disinfecting, etc. are all steps that have been taken in these last few days to limit the spread of COVID-19.
After serious consideration, the decision has been made to close the library until further notice. The decision to close is chiefly due to the fact that we may not be able to mitigate the risk to our staff and to everyone in our community if we remain open. With the school closure we would see increased use of the library. Even with our initial steps to stop the spread of the virus, the reality of library use and space does not allow for confidence that there is still not a significant risk posed by ill members of the community who may be using the library. The American Library Association has strongly recommended the closing of libraries precisely because “Libraries are by design unable to practice social distancing to the degree recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities. Keeping libraries open at this time has the potential to harm communities more than help.” According to the CDC and infectious disease experts, this kind of drastic social distancing–closing gathering places and cancelling events–is key to flattening the curve and stopping the spread of the virus.
This decision was not an easy one. We know that our community relies on the library, particularly in times of crisis. We want to assure you that this closure does not mean a complete cessation of library services. Our digital resources are still available online via Hoopla, Overdrive, Freading, and Flipster. To start learning a new language or continue to work on one check out Transparent Languages Online which is also available as an app. Please find more information about these services and other digital resources on our website.
While we are closed, there is no need to worry about fines for materials! We are extending all loan periods and no fines will be incurred for the time that the library is closed. Our outdoor book drop will be closed, but you can return materials to the book drop on the front door. Otherwise, please hang onto the materials until we re-open.
Please follow us on our social media for continued updates and announcements. Send us an email or leave us a comment with any questions or concerns. We will continue to communicate with you as this outbreak evolves. We are hoping to be able to re-open April 6th, but that is subject to change. We are looking forward to coming together as a community and welcoming you all back to the library after this virus runs its course. Thank you for your support and understanding.