Steps to Reopening
updated January 31, 2021
The St. Joseph County Public Library reopened all branches for browsing on Tuesday, June 16. Curbside Pick-Up and Curbside Tech, including faxing, scanning, printing, and copying, will continue at all locations.
Library branches offer these services:
Browsing, checkout, and holds pick up.
Account services, including new card registration
Document services (fax, scanning, copying and printing)
Curbside Pick-Up and Curbside Tech
Newspaper check out
Limited computer use
Local and Family History and Studio 304 are also open for limited services.
We will return to our regularly scheduled business hours on Monday, February 1. The Friends of the Library Book Sale will reopen on Friday, February 5. Seating areas remain closed.
COVID-19 has changed so much of what we do and how we do it. From masks to social distancing, we all have to take steps to keep each other safe. At the same time, these necessary precautions change how we interact with one another.
The library is reopening, and we are excited to invite you back. But there are a few things you need to know before you stop by. We've made some changes to keep you safe.
Here is what you can expect when you come to see us:
- You can browse and check out books, although we ask that you limit the amount of time you spend inside.
- You can check out a newspaper to read at home. There will be no seating available inside the library, so all materials are available for grab and go only.
- You can relax outside on the library patio at Centre, German, Francis, Lakeville, and North Liberty with your book or newspaper. Outdoor seating is also available at Tutt, Western, and LaSalle Branches.
- You can get help with your account and ask questions. If you need in depth reference help, please call 574-282-4646 so that we can spend more time giving you the assistance you need.
- You can have documents faxed, scanned, copied or printed. There will be no self-service use of this equipment, but we are happy to assist. The first 20 pages are free.
- You can use the computer. Each session is limited to 1 hour per person per day.
- You can create in Studio 304 and research in Local and Family History. There is a 2 hour time limit for these areas.
A few other things to note:
- We are limiting the number of people who can enter at one time, so we appreciate your patience if there is a wait.
- All staff and patrons must wear a face covering inside the library at all times. We will have face masks available, and curbside pick-up will continue to be an option for those who do not want to enter.
- Children age 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult to enter.
Why do I have to wear a face covering?
For the safety of all our patrons and library staff, we are requiring the usage of face coverings while in the building. We require children 2 and older to wear a face mask. This rule is based on the guidelines from the St. Joseph County Department of Health. If you do not have a mask of your own, we can provide one for you.
I don’t want to wear a face covering in the library.
At this time, we are requiring all staff and patrons to wear face coverings. If you do not wish to enter the building, curbside pick-up and document delivery are available.
Why are you limiting entrance to the branch?
Following county health guidelines, we are currently limiting capacity at each branch. We appreciate your patience if you have to wait upon arriving at the library.
Can young children come to the library unattended?
Patrons 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older).
Why is there no seating?
The library is currently only open for browsing and checkout. We are limiting the number of people in the library at any given time, as well as trying to reduce the amount of time people are spending in the library. These measures will help us maintain social distancing. Limited seating is available outdoors on the library patio.
Why is computer usage limited to one hour?
We are limiting the number of people in the library at any given time, as well as trying to reduce the amount of time people are spending in the library. These measures will help us maintain social distancing.
I have my own device (laptop, iPad), can I come in and use it at the library?
Computer usage is currently limited to public library computers, however, our Wi-Fi may be accessed from the parking lot. You can bring your own device in to use it for printing or to use on the patio.
Why can’t I read my newspaper at the library?
The library is currently only open for browsing and checkout. We are limiting the number of people in the library at any given time, as well as trying to reduce the amount of time people are spending in the library. These measures will help us maintain social distancing. The outdoor patios at Centre, German, Francis, Lakeville, and North Liberty will be available for sitting and reading.
What are you doing to protect staff?
We have daily wellness checks for our staff, and they are required to wear face coverings while at work. We are actively sanitizing our workspaces in both the staff and public areas.
What are you doing to keep the facility safe and clean?
We have increased sanitation and cleaning of high-touch areas, and we will be cleaning public areas regularly. We have also installed protective barriers to protect both staff and customers. Hand sanitizer at the entrance, public desk, and at self-checks.
Why aren’t in person classes or programs being offered?
Following county guidelines and to maintain social distancing standards, we cannot have groups of patrons in close proximity to each other in our computer labs and meeting rooms.
When can I book one of the meeting rooms?
Tele-meeting rooms are available at Centre, Francis, and German Branches beginning September 21, 2020. For tele-meeting room guidelines, click here. All other SJCPL meeting rooms are closed through 2020.