The Decorah Public Library will continue to accept returned library materials, offer curbside materials pickup (which began June 1), and create digital program opportunities for children and families for at least another month.
The Library Board met Monday June 8 and, after a lengthy discussion, decided that the library building will remain closed to the public for the time being. Discussion included a look at the specific parameters related to Fire Marshall occupancy formulas distributed to all public Libraries by the State Library of Iowa, which include number of public entrances, accessibility, square footage, and number of library staff working in the building. Using the Fire Marshall formula, a maximum of 10-12 patrons would bring the building to the 50% capacity and still allow the library to remain in compliance with the governor’s directive. Potential safety measures (plexiglass shields at service points), and appropriate cleaning, availability of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, and specific guidelines for cleaning (such as for public computers), are also factors in re-opening. Any in-person services in the library would be limited. The Board will review current circumstances and criteria for taking any further action on the phased re-opening plan at their July 13 meeting.
Following Monday’s Board meeting, Library Board of Trustees President Andrea Beckendorf said, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Director Torresdal and the library staff for their continued work to provide library materials and services to the community. At the Board meeting, we heard how excited patrons were to receive materials through curbside pickup, and we appreciate the library staff working out an efficient process to begin that service. The Board has a shared goal – with library staff and the community – of working towards re-opening. That process started back in May with the approval of the staged plan, and the strong consensus at the June meeting was to continue with the current level of services. Our focus right now is on balancing access to materials with broader health and safety considerations. We are actively seeking ideas for new and additional ways for the library to offer services, and welcome input from the community.”
Contact President Andrea Beckendorf at firstname.lastname@example.org or Library Director Kristin Torresdal at email@example.com with questions or comments.
The Decorah Public Library begins offering curbside materials pickup on Monday June 1.
Library books, books on CD, and DVDs will be available for curbside pickup from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Beginning June 8, interlibrary loan services will also resume, so items not owned by Decorah Public Library may be borrowed from other libraries across the state.
Anyone wishing to select items for curbside pickup may do so by using the library’s online catalog or by calling the library at 382-3717. If requested, Library staff will be happy to share reading recommendations. Brand new video recommendations for children’s and young adult materials are available on Facebook as well. Library phone lines are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and voicemail is available after hours. Ten items may be reserved at once, and ten items checked out per pickup date.
Once reserved items become available, Library staff will contact individuals to schedule a pickup date. Items will be bagged and labeled on tables near the loading dock on the south side of the building (off Winnebago St.). Parking is available, or cars may pull in and drive downhill through the lower parking lot to exit. Rain location will be in the covered parking area located underneaththe library. Checkouts are for 3 weeks, with one renewal available. No late fines will accrue during this time. Both exterior library book drops are now open for returns.
Returned materials are quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before being reintegrated with the library collection.
Call the library at 563-382-3717 for more information.
05-13-2020: The Decorah Public Library will continue to be closed to the public but will open exterior book drops and begin accepting returned library materials on Monday May 18. The move is part of a phased expansion of services unanimously approved by the Library Board of Trustees at their Monday May 11 meeting.
Library staff request that materials be returned gradually so that they are able to keep up with the processing and quarantining of items as they come back. Patrons with last names beginning A-M are asked to return items May 18-24 and patrons with last names beginning N-Z are asked to return items May 25-31. All materials will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before being reintegrated with the rest of the library collection. Beginning June 1, items may be returned to the two exterior library book drops at any time.
A projected June 1 start date for curbside pickup of library materials has also been announced, with details about the procedure for requesting and picking up items to be solidified by the end of May.
Library Director Kristin Torresdal said “We are working hard to prepare appropriate procedures for material returns and curbside pickup, with the safety of patrons and staff taking top priority. With the addition of curbside pickup, we will again be performing all of the essential services outlined in our mission statement despite the necessary ongoing closure of our building. We will continue to offer online programming, tech help, expanded ebook, audiobook, and film content, plus wifi access around the perimeter of our building.”
The phased expansion of services plan includes six stages, the first three of which- preparation, returns, and curbside pickup- were approved for implementation by the Library Board, with the inclusion of additional language that allows for plan modifications based on new data, public health guidelines, and best practices according to professional library organizations. The Board will discuss progress, new developments, and implementation of additional phases at their June 8 meeting.
When curbside procedures are finalized, that information will be made available on the library’s website, social media, and in local media outlets.
Contact Torresdal at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
05-05-2020: We’ve heard that you’re eager to learn about what comes next for the library and we want you to know that we’re currently working on determining that very thing. The Library Board of Trustees and the Library Director will continue to review available resources and to discuss appropriate measures for a phased-in expansion of services. We know that Governor Reynolds lifted restrictions on libraries as of May 1 but that doesn’t negate our responsibility for making informed decisions specific to our own community. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our community and we will take the time necessary to feel confident that we’re prepared to take any next steps. Stay tuned for additional information after the May 11 Library Board meeting.