Library customers will soon be able to borrow and return physical items from the Traverse Area District Library (TADL). To help maximize safety for both staff and patrons, library service will be restored in phases. All TADL locations may offer different levels of service, depending on their size and type of use, so patrons should always check hours and procedures in advance of a visit.
Library Director Michele Howard is dedicated to an optimistic but cautious approach. “Our online and digital access has been active through the shelter-in-place so thankfully we’ve still been able to serve the community. While we would love to open straight away we have an obligation to make sure staff and patrons can access the library and its materials as safely as possible,” Howard says.
“Our staff just returned to the library and there is a lot of training and preparation that needs to happen in a very short amount of time. We especially want to give patrons an early opportunity to bring back the books they’ve had in their homes for the past few months. Currently, residents have more than 40,000 items checked out and there are 2,000 items on hold. Our phased approach allows us to retrieve items and process them in a way that is safe for everyone.”
Returned materials will rest in quarantine for a minimum of three days before processing for recirculation. “This resting period meets current CDC guidelines,” Howard says. “We are actively monitoring other studies, and if we see data that indicates we could shorten the resting period, we will certainly take that into account.”
TADL Board President Joseph Jones is encouraged by the district’s commitment. “Every community and each library is unique, so while we all may have a slightly different approach, we are all dedicated to getting patrons access to materials in a safe way. We’re excited to be able to broaden our services now as we head into summer reading programs.”
TADL’s Phase I is to reopen the book drops. The book drops at all TADL locations will reopen starting June 8. Check each location’s website for exact hours. The book drops at the main library on Woodmere will be open from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. each day, Monday through Friday.
TADL’s Phase II will be curbside “take-out” service starting June 15. “We’re reconfiguring to offer curbside service right now,” Howard says. “We’re committed to offering it as soon as possible. Our first priority is on safety training and getting patrons curbside access to library materials. Before we open the main library on Woodmere to walk-in access we want to make sure we can do it in a way that safe for everyone.”
See tadl.org for more details on these new processes. The library will post updated information online as it is available.