PLDL announces plan to reopen

The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) will soon be able to resume library services due to the lifting of Governor Whitmer’s Safer at Home Executive Order. On Monday, June 8th, PLDL will begin the first phase of their reopening plan, which sees library staff return to work to clean the library, begin accepting library returns, quarantine returned materials, and prepare for curbside pickup services.

“We are thrilled to get back to work in the building and determined to do so in a way that ensures our staff and patrons safety,” Said Dillon Geshel, Library Director. “A phased reopening approach will give us the time we need to prepare the library for in-person use, and make sure we do so in a measured, strategic way to keep everyone safe.”

On Monday, June 8th, library staff will reopen their outdoor book drops, which have been closed since the library’s closure in mid-March. “We currently have over 4,500 items checked out,” said Geshel. “It’s going to take us some time to process those returns and get them back on the shelf so our patrons can request them.” Phase one will also allow patrons to begin requesting items from PLDL and other libraries across the Upper Peninsula. Staff will also spend their first week back in the building preparing for limited in-person services that will be offered during phase two.

PLDL’s second phase in their reopening plan, which begins on June 15th, will allow patrons to request and receive library materials through a curbside pick-up program. Library hours will be adjusted to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the duration of phase two. “We expect this phase to last up to two weeks,” said Geshel. “Library patrons will also have the opportunity to sign up for a new, no-contact homebound book delivery program.”

The Library is tentatively planning to move into phrase three on June 22nd. Phase three will include limited access to the Library building by public patrons. Library staff will reconfigure spaces to ensure that social distancing guidelines are met, and remove chairs or other furniture to ensure compliance. PLDL may have to limit the number of patrons in the building at a time, and in-person group meetings or public events will still be prohibited.

Phase four, the final step in PLDL’s reopening plan, sees the library return to providing full access to in-person services and programs. No date has been announced yet for the start of this phase. “It’s so hard to know what might be required of us in the next few weeks and months, when it comes to social distancing guidelines and other best practices that ensure a safe experience for our staff and all library visitors,” Said Geshel. “We’re taking our phased reopening plan one step at a time, and hope to have more information about a phase four timeline in the near future.”

For more information about PLDL’s phased reopening plan, visit pldl.org or contact the library at 906-482-4570. You can also contact the library via email at dgeshel@pldl.org .


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