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Library patrons can once again borrow books and media from the Forest Park Public Library as vestibule pick up begins June 3. It’s part of the library’s response to the state’s progression into phase three of the Reopen Illinois state-wide plan.

“We are happy to offer this service, but it will be different from our regular hold pick up system in order to provide safety measures for staff and the community,” reads a message on the library’s website.

How to place holds and pick up books

Patrons can put items on hold online at fppl.org or by phone at 708-366-7171. If items are on-shelf in the library, they will be ready for pickup within one to two days.

Patrons are asked not to come to pick up items until they have received a call from the library notifying them that their items are ready. Items will be on hold for a week following the notification call.

Pick up will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For now, patrons can only access items from the Forest Park library collection; interlibrary loan services won’t be available right away.

Additionally, browsing through the shelves won’t be offered until further notice, and using computers, printers, restrooms or entering the library beyond the vestibule won’t be allowed.

Book quarantine

The library has developed a quarantine plan for books that are returned. All materials must be returned in the drop box outside the building. No items will be returned directly to staff members.

Staff members will wear masks and gloves to place items from the drop box onto carts, which will be organized by date and quarantined for seven days. After seven days, the items will either fulfill holds of other patrons or be reshelved.

No new fines

Fines incurred up until now must be paid (online only, not in person). But for the time being, the library is participating in the Fines Free for Now program, during which no fines will be charged for any material that is checked out at the Forest Park Public Library. No fines.

This is good news for the patrons who, though well intentioned, never get their books back on time.

Now, when an item becomes more than 14 days overdue, instead of charging a fine the library will block the user’s card. As soon as the item is returned to the library, the block is removed.

The library says they plan to run the Fines Free for Now program for the “foreseeable future,” and will give patrons plenty of warning if they decide to end it.

Guidelines for placing holds, picking up books

  • Patrons are asked to wait for a phone call from the library letting them know their books are ready.
  • Patrons will be asked to wait in a socially distant line with designated marks and enter the vestibule one at a time at the direction of the staff.
  • Patrons must wear a mask.
  • Visitors are asked to have their ID or library card ready.
  • The library will not be supplying bags and cannot assist patrons in bagging items.
  • All cards will have unlimited holds and check-outs.
  • No in-person services will be offered other than picking up items in the vestibule.
  • Previous fines must be paid online at fppl.org.
  • Families should use one card for placing holds, if possible.
  • Restrooms, computers and printers will not be available to patrons.

The library will continue to take directives from the state of Illinois and the CDC on further reopening of services.

For more information, visit fppl.org, email askus@fppl.org or call the library at 708-366-7171.