Schoolcraft and Vicksburg Libraries Make Plans to Reopen

By Sue Moore

Having a good book to read during quarantine time might be coming soon to the Vicksburg and Schoolcraft libraries. Both have shut their doors for over eight weeks and it’s a cinch that folks are missing their libraries, said Schoolcraft Library Director Pam Ballet.

“We are planning to open in phases, with each phase being flexible in length and procedure according to new information that is available,” Ballet said. “We will be starting with curbside service, then phasing into lobby service and ending with reopening of most services. Within each phase there will be requirements as well as safety features in place. We will have the reopening plan available on our website as soon as it’s approved. We are also planning a summer reading program, but all registrations, data recording and activities will be virtual through our site, Facebook and YouTube. Information will be on our website in the next few weeks.”

In Vicksburg, District Library Director Eric Hansen has been working to provide safe ways to re-open when Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders expire. “It has been important to listen to the numerous teleconferences that are available provided by the Kalamazoo Health and Community Services Department, the Southwest Michigan Library Cooperative, and the Library of Michigan. We are also considering information provided by the Michigan Library Association, The American Library Association, and the government of the state of Michigan.

“Planning has been challenging, since new executive orders and information have been emerging every week,” Hansen said. “However, I have created a list of options that include legal requirements and best practices provided by the organizations above. These are meant to conform to mandatory workplace safety requirements and to protect the health and safety of returning employees and patrons. These options will be a topic of discussion during our next board meeting, and we expect there will be some visible changes to our library services during the months following our re-opening.”

“As Eric expressed, we are anxious to serve our community and see our patrons again. The safety of our staff and community is on our hearts and we are working to reopen to serve safely,” Ballet said.

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