Willard Library will temporarily close the Helen Warner Branch to the public beginning Monday, Nov. 16, and expand curbside service hours.
"We are closing the branch library so we can sustain services and concentrate our resources on one location," Library Director Cathy Lucas said Tuesday. "This change will allow us to continue to provide stability and flexibility to our guests in the coming weeks."
As the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Calhoun County soared in recent weeks, the library has had four or five employees a week who have been required to quarantine for 14 days because of exposure to the coronavirus, she said.
"Based on a staffing loss of this amount plus the upcoming, normal cold and flu season, we wanted to be proactive and decided to close the branch to the public now," Lucas. "We require a certain number of employees to keep the library open and provide services to our guests."
When the branch, 36 Minges Creek Place, closes, contactless curbside service hours will be expanded to Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Pickup of holds, Grab 'n' Go Kits, and Take and Make Bags also will be available through curbside pickup.
To use curbside pickup, a guest pulls up in the library's drive-through lane and calls the library. The holds are pulled, checked out, and placed in a bag. Then, the bag is placed through the open rear window of the vehicle.
Printing, faxing and a new service, call-ahead parking spots for people who do not have cell phones will be added at the branch on Nov. 16. Card holders may call the library and schedule a time to arrive or pull into the designated spots and a member of the library staff will visit their vehicle and get their name and then deliver their materials.
Any guest who prefers to pick up their holds at the downtown library, 7 W. Van Buren St., may call 269-968-8166, ext. 600, and ask to have their materials sent downtown.
"The closure will allow the library the stability and flexibility to keep the downtown library open in the coming weeks," Lucas said adding she anticipates the branch will be closed at least through the end of the year.
"We appreciate everyone's patience as we navigate these unchartered waters," Lucas said.
Kristine is reading "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson.