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COVID-19 and LCPL

LCPL is currently monitoring the development of COVID-19 in Indiana and adjusting services accordingly. We have been in communication with the Lake County Health Department and are monitoring daily updates from the Indiana Department of Health and the CDC. We are working to offer you as much library service as possible while maintaining your safety and the safety of our staff.

UPDATE 4/4/20: Update to the CDC's guidelines on face masks

UPDATE 3/31/20:
How to use the library while we are closed (minor updates 4/2/2020)
Should the building closures continue, due dates will be adjusted accordingly. No items will be due while our buildings are closed.

UPDATE 3/17/20: Please do not return your items or attempt to circumvent the locks on the book drops. All due dates have been changed to April 15; nothing is due while we are closed! (Update 3/31/20: Due dates will be updated accordingly should building closures continue beyond April 15)

UPDATE 3/16/20: The library will close at 5 PM on 3/16/20 and remain closed until further notice.

Here are a few things to know about COVID-19 and Lake County Public Library:

Where can I get accurate information on the spread of COVID-19?

There is a great deal of misinformation out there on COVID-19. All information in this FAQ has been vetted to library standards.

For further accurate, unbiased information we recommend:

The CDC's COVID-19 FAQ 

The Indiana Department of Health COVID-19 Information Page (includes a sign-up for email updates)

The CDC's How to Protect Yourself Page (includes information on how the virus spreads)

Is the library closing?

Yes. The library buildings will be closed starting 3/16 at 5 PM until further notice. Updates will be posted here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. We will continue to offer as many library services as possible while our buildings are closed.

We made the difficult decision to close after examining the efforts of other states and communities in slowing COVID-19. Aggressive social distancing has had a significant impact on the number of affected individuals in other communities. Our closure, combined with the closure of Lake County schools and some businesses, should make a large difference in how fast the virus spreads in Lake County.

If you have items checked out, keep them. We're moving all due dates so that nothing will be due when we are closed, and we have locked the book drops. We'd much rather you stay home than venture out to a branch to return a book, and we don't want to force our staff to handle materials from the book drops at this time.

Your holds will not expire or trigger during this closure. If you had something waiting on the holds shelf, it will still be there when we reopen. You will also not lose your spot in the holds queue for items you're waiting on.

And of course, our digital materials will still be available to check out while we are closed.

Thank you for your patience and willingness to work together to beat this virus. We look forward to seeing you when we reopen!

How do I use the library's services while the library is closed?

You just need a resident library card number and PIN. If you don't already have a library card, you can get one here.

Forgot your PIN? Here are step-by-step instructions on what to do to recover it while we're closed.

Don't forget - high school students have their eLibrary cards (aka Digital Access Cards). Most high schools in our district handed these out at the beginning of the school year so that high schoolers who go to school in our district can use our online collection even if they live in a different library district.

Digital Collection:
If you're an LCPL resident, your library card still gets you access to all of our online collections, like Overdrive/Libby, Hoopla, and Freegal. You can see all of our digital offerings here.

  • Hoopla borrows have increased from 8 to 16 per month.
  • We're purchasing Overdrive/Libby ebooks and audiobooks at an accelerated rate to fill holds and requests more quickly during our closure.
  • Freegal streaming has increased from 5 hours per day to 24 hours per day.

Databases and Online Learning:
Our online research tools are available - they're great for students still learning at home. You'll also find plenty of resources there for anyone wanting to learn new skills, crafts, languages, and more.

Ask a Librarian:
Library staff are still monitoring our Ask a Librarian service, so feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions!

For Kids:
We are thrilled to offer virtual storytime on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:30 AM. Go to our YouTube page to join in!

  • Tuesday & Saturday: Picture Book Storytime
  • Thursday: Middle Grade Book Tasting (The first chapter of a book your older kids might like. They can find the rest on Hoopla or Overdrive/Libby!)

We also have a page full of activities designed specially by our librarians to keep kids active and learning while staying home.

Is my group still meeting at the library?

No. The library has canceled all meeting room and study room bookings, outreach events, and library events in order to support Lake County's social distancing efforts.

In addition, all LCPL locations are closed until further notice.

What about Imagination Library?

As far as we know, there should be no disruptions to book delivery for children already signed up, approved, and processed in Imagination Library.

We are not accepting new applications during this closure.

What are LCPL's cleaning procedures?

If we are open:
In addition to elevating our normal cleaning regimen we thoroughly disinfected all shared, high-traffic areas, such as computers, counters, and doors, daily. 

As you know, hand sanitizer can be hard to find these days. We will have it available for patrons at all desks whenever possible.

We will also be adding CDC posters on good hand-washing procedure to all bathrooms.

Remember, our library is a shared space and we need your help to keep it a healthy and safe environment!

How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?

Here are the CDC's recommendations: 

We spoke with the Lake County Health Department, and they reiterated that the most effective way of stopping the spread of COVID-19 (and the flu for that matter) is to wash your hands thoroughly, with soap, for at least 20 seconds.

Here is further information from the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page.

What about face masks?

The CDC has updated their face mask guidelines in light of new evidence regarding asymptomatic carriers: those who show no symptoms, but may still be infected.

The CDC advises wearing cloth face coverings when in situations where social distancing may not be possible (such as grocery shopping) to prevent asymptomatic individuals from unknowingly spreading the virus. They do not recommend medical grade face masks or respirators.

Please read the CDC's cloth face coverings FAQ

See also: CDC guidelines for making your own face covering

I think I have symptoms...

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you live in Indiana and are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, have a recent history of travel to China, or contact with someone who may be ill with COVID-19, please call the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center:

317-233-7125

After hours number: 317-233-1325