Public Library will remain closed to the public until further notice to help
prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Library closure
was previously set to expire April 12 after the Library Board authorized an
emergency closure starting March 17.
Lisa Stamm first reported the extension of the closure yesterday afternoon
in an email to all Library staff where she thanked them for being at the
ready and urged them to stay safe.
Stamm is authorized
to extend the Board approved closure without additional review from the
Board, per WPL’s emergency polices, though she told the Chesterton
Tribune the Board members are concerned with staff and patron health and
safety and support her decision to keep WPL closed.
“Once it is safe to
do so, WPL will open in phases with limited services, while observing social
distancing measures. I do not know yet when that may be. I am planning and
assessing as we, statewide and nationwide, learn more information,” Stamm
said. “The most important thing is that everyone, including the Library,
does their part to flatten the curve and stop spreading the virus,” she
There will not be a
Library Board meeting this month, and the May Board meeting will proceed on
its planned date via a conference call that the public is welcome to join.
continue to hold onto physical Library items they borrowed before the
closure and will not accrue late fees for the duration of the
Per the Board’s
action in March, staff will continue to be paid for their normally scheduled
hours during the closure, according to Stamm.
Stamm said WPL
staff are working from home on various projects and planning for when the
Library reopens. Staff are also discussing the logistics of providing a
materials pick-up service like the Porter County Library has instituted.
Library is open 24/7, and we are creating storytime and program videos and
other content, and making it available on our YouTube channel and Facebook
page. We are available to answer patron questions via Ask a Librarian on our
website, and patrons may also call and leave a voicemail, which will be
returned by Reference and other staff members,” Stamm said.