Libraries closed to in-person visits; curbside services available

Willard Library downtown and the Helen Warner Branch are temporarily closed to in-person visits due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Calhoun County.

Both libraries continue to offer curbside service with expanded hours as long as circumstances allow. The curbside schedule is:

  • Downtown: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Helen Warner Branch: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon.

Holds pickup, printing, and faxing is available through curbside service. In addition, Take and Make Bags and Grab ‘n’ Go Kits may be requested through curbside.

“The health and safety of the community and staff are our top priority, and we hope closing the downtown building will help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Library Director Cathy Lucas said.

Lucas said the downtown library will be closed for at least the governor’s three-week pause period. The Helen Warner Branch is closed through at least the end of the year. She said library administration will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation. 

Materials may be returned in drop boxes outside both libraries. Returned materials are quarantined for four days before being checked in.

All of the library’s programs are virtual. More information is available here or on willard’s Facebook page.

The library’s digital apps, which offer ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and magazines.

Anyone with questions may call the library at 269-968-8166, ext. 513.

App Tips and Tricks

Learn all about Willard’s digital apps in this four-week video series with Willard’s digital expert Stefan Jovanovich. Each week, he will spotlight one app and demonstrate how to set up an account using your Willard Library card and how to download or stream digital materials on phones, tablets, and computers.

After the video, Stefan will be available to answer questions on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.,
Dec. 2: Libby,
Dec. 9: Overdrive for Your Kindle,
Dec. 16: Freegal Music,
Dec. 23: Hoopla,
Videos premiere on Willard’s Facebook and YouTube channels

Take and Make Craft Bags

Pick up a December Take and Make Craft Bag from either library, watch the videos, and then use the supplies to make your own crafts.

Kits will be available beginning Nov. 30.

Macrame Bird Feeder
Winter is the perfect time to feed the birds in your backyard. Use the most basic macrame techniques to create this simple, but versatile bird feeder. Hang it up, and watch to see what birds stop by.  
Monday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Video premieres on Willard’s Facebook and YouTube channels

Magnetic Bookmark
It's nice to sit down for just a couple of minutes during this busy time of year to do something crafty. A magnetic bookmark will hold your place by sticking to the page, and it won't fall out. This also would be a thoughtful gift for an avid reader.
Monday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m.
Video premiere on Willard’s Facebook and YouTube channels

Dazzling Cookie Decorating With The Bakewell Company

Erin Hill, owner of The Bakewell Company in Portage, will guide viewers through a simple, seasonal cookie decorating tutorial. She will provide some fun tips and tricks for decorating and offer her expertise in the kitchen in a question-and-answer session at the end. A culinary school graduate, Erin has worked as a pastry chef in Scotland and locally. The Bakewell Company is known for its quiche, decadent brownies, and signature Bakewell tart.

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.,
Live streaming on Willard's Facebook Page, YouTube, Twitter, and

Virtual Cookie Recipe Swap

Share the joys of holiday traditions and delicious homemade cookies in Willard’s Cookie Recipe Swap. Although there will be no taste testing this year, bring your favorite recipe, an example of the finished product and the special history behind your baked goods in this Zoom gathering. Also, share any tips and tricks you've learned in the kitchen. If you wish, your recipe will be made available on Willard’s website and in a packet with all of the other recipes for pickup at the library after the program. Participants will be entered into a drawing at the end of the program for a gift certificate that will help them test out some of the other recipes.

Tuesday, Dec.15, 6 p.m.
Zoom Meeting

Please click here to register to receive details to access the Zoom meeting.

Peeks Into the Past: Tales of Battle Creek

Take a tour of Battle Creek's past with local historians and preservationists in this new monthly program. Drawing on Willard Library's archives and other resources, local stewards of our historic heritage will bring our city's history to life with vintage photographs and conversation. This month's topic: The Milton, with guests Kurt Thornton, Randy Case, and Jill Anderson.

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.,
Live streaming on Willard's Facebook Page, YouTube, Twitter, and

DIY With Beth: Clothes Drying Rack

Willard’s Beth Williamson presents another great DIY program this month. If you like to hang your clothes to dry this clothing rack is sure to become one of your favorite things. It’s a new twist on the old school clothing rack that's both inexpensive and a space saver.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, p.m.,
Video premiere on Willard’s Facebook and YouTube channels