Neighborhood volunteers cheer on runners during Hidden Gem Half Marathon

Flossmoor Public Library announced the start of its reopening process Monday with curbside pickup of materials available to patrons.

Under the curbside service, Flossmoor library cardholders can place holds on materials then pick them, contact-free, outside the building. All materials will have been quarantined a minimum of seven days prior to pickup.

Library Director Jaime Paicely said the library plans to reopen to the public gradually after curbside service becomes available.

The Flossmoor library may not be open for in-person services until middle or late July, she said. 

The library has been closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, patrons have only had access to electronic resources and programs online.

The first phase of the in-person reopening will include limiting the amount of people that come in the building at one time. There also won’t be any seating or computers available. 

“The idea will be that people will come in, select the items they want, check them out, and then leave,” Paicely said. “It won’t really be a socializing or hang-out destination for a while.” 

Once reopened, the library will implement safety measures such as pulling items for patrons to reduce person-to-person contact. There also will be one-directional aisles. 

The pandemic time has taught her to be more flexible, Paicely said. 

“Usually I am a very organized and timeline type of person and this has forced me to approach things differently,” she said. “I have had to learn to adapt plans on the go and change our goals to make sure that we are keeping our staff and our patrons safe.”

When asked what she misses about how things were before the pandemic, she replied “our community.”

“We would get to know our customers and chat about things,” she said. “We would see their children and help them find books that were interesting to them or if we knew a child that loved dragons, and a new dragon book came in, we would set it aside so that they could see it when they came back. Just the friendly, familiarity that we had.

“Now with the masks and the social distancing, that will be removed somewhat when the customers come back into the library.”

During the week of June 1 to 5, curbside service will be available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Thursday it will be available from 5 to 8 p.m.

The library expects to extend the curbside hours after June 8. For more information, interested persons can call the library at 708-798-3600 or email [email protected].

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