Library Reopening FAQs — Safety

Bear sitting on books, wearing a mask

Why are you requiring facial coverings inside the library building?

The New Lenox Public Library District is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all patrons and staff. In accordance with the Restore Illinois Plan and CDC guidelines, all persons entering the library must wear a facial covering and must maintain a six foot distance from all other persons when practicable. Reasonable accommodations such as curbside pickup and online resources are available to those who are medically prevented from or decline to wear a facial covering.

Those refusing to wear a facial covering and/or to maintain six foot distance when practicable shall be required to leave the library. If you are unable to wear a facial covering due to a health condition, please contact the library director ahead of time to accommodate your needs at director@newlenoxlibrary.org or 815-485-2605 ext. 101.

This requirement shall be lifted automatically when the Illinois Department of Public Health declares that the state has reached Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan. The requirement shall be reinstated automatically should the Illinois Department of Public Health determine that the state must return to any phase lower than Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Are you sanitizing all your materials?

While there is no reliable way to comprehensively sanitize books and other materials, we will be following state recommendations for quarantining materials for 3 days after they have been returned. We advise patrons to thoroughly wash their hands after visiting the library and handling our materials. Hand sanitizer and restrooms will be available in our building.

Current research suggests that at room temperature, COVID-19 particles can live in diminishing capacity on surfaces like paper and cardboard for up to 24 hours, and plastic for up to 72 hours. Because many of our materials have plastic coverings or cases, all returned items are currently isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before being checked in and returned to circulation.

Should I clean library materials at home after I check them out or before I return them?

No. Cleaning library materials at home may damage them, especially treatments like bleach or heat. All returned materials are currently isolated for a minimum of 72 hours before being returned to circulation, and library staff are following a number of safety and cleaning protocols while in our buildings. We do recommend thoroughly washing your hands after handling materials.

What safety precautions is the library taking?

The library will follow safety, hygiene, cleaning and physical distancing protocols recommended by Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control. The following practices have been adopted:

  • Hand sanitizer available for patron and staff use.
  • Signage posted to encourage proper physical distancing and hygiene practices.
  • Plexiglass shields between staff and patrons at service points.
  • Spacing increased at computers to allow for physical distancing. Computer reservations will be restricted to limit the number of visitors in our buildings at any given time.
  • Buildings are thoroughly sanitized daily, and high-touch areas disinfected regularly throughout the day and after each use if possible.
  • Staff and patrons are required to wear masks and encouraged to practice frequent hand-washing. Workstations will be cleaned before and after each staff shift and intermittantly in between.

Are you still quarantining books?

Yes, we are currently quarantining returned items for 72 hours. You may see piles of items in our meeting rooms or staff areas. These returned items are separated by date so staff know when they may safely begin checking them in. Please note that you may experience greater than normal wait times for returned items to be removed from your account and holds on popular items to be ready due to this process.