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The Forest Park Public Library announced on Oct. 26 that it is temporarily closing after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Although it is unknown if the employee contracted it at the library or somewhere else, out of an abundance of caution the library has decided to close.

In an announcement to residents, the library said, “During this closure, the facility will be cleaned and time will be given to allow any remaining traces of the virus to dissipate.” Staff who were in close contact with the infected individual, per CDC guidelines, will be quarantined for 14 days. “Other staff members will self-monitor and be extra conscientious about their wellness,” according to the library’s website.

Virtual services and programs will still be available, but books cannot be picked up or dropped off until the library reopens. Fines for items due will not accrue. Patrons can place items on hold, and they will be available once the library reopens.

Director Pilar Shaker said the vestibule service model will reopen on Friday, Oct. 30. Through this service, patrons can put items on hold online or by phone. They will be notified when their items are ready for pick-up. Items will be held for seven days and can be picked up in the vestibule of the library.

Patrons won’t be able to browse for items in person, use computers or printers, or enter the library beyond the vestibule. Restrooms will be unavailable.

“The library staff understands how vital access to our building and services are for many members of our community,” said Shaker in a statement. “We strive to find the safest way to provide our services during this challenging time.”

In reaction to the Oct. 26 announcement of extra mitigation imposed on Region 10 bars and restaurants, Shaker said that while the restrictions “do not directly impact our service offerings, they are a stark reminder that our patrons and staff must remain vigilant in our efforts to maintain a healthy environment by wearing our masks, respecting social distancing guidelines, and responding to illness appropriately.”

Shaker added: “We appreciate the continued support of our community.”

More information on the library’s services can be found at fppl.org.