Monday, January 18, 2021

EL Public Library closes temporarily due to rise in COVID-19 cases

November 20, 2020
Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

East Lansing Public Library will be closing its building temporarily starting Friday due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 and the new emergency order implied by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

The library was only open indoors for a little more than a month, after being closed until October 12.

“Out of an abundance of care for our patrons, staff and community members, the East Lansing Public Library is reverting back to curbside pickup services and closing our building to the public," East Lansing Public Library Director Kristin Shelley said in a press release Wednesday. 

Curbside pickup service will continue with extended hours Monday ­– Thursday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. The Outdoor Locker System will be available 24/7 to pick up books on hold. For those uncomfortable leaving their homes, materials can be sent by mail. 

“People love coming to the library, and, they love using the library, and when we opened back up to the public, everybody who walked in just said ‘we’re so grateful'," Shelley said.

The community, although disappointed, has been understanding about the closure. 

“As I was talking to people yesterday ... saying that we're going to revert back to curbside only ... they all fully understood why," Shelley said. "People here, pretty much, are understanding of why we need to get this under control.”

Shelley remains hopeful, but uncertain about plans to reopen. 

“I have a horrible feeling that its going to go beyond December 9," Shelly said. "But maybe not. Maybe it will be okay.”

The online auction fundraiser called 'Books, Baskets, and Bids' which started on Nov. 18 at 8 am, is still taking place, and will run until 10 p.m. Monday Nov. 23. There will be close to 90 different baskets auctioned off, with proceeds going to help fund an interactive children's garden.

"The pandemic has canceled and derailed many plans this year, including our annual Books, Bites, & Bids Fundraiser, but thanks to the incredible generosity of area businesses and our community, the East Lansing Public Library is able to have a great online auction just in time for the holidays,” Shelley said in a release.

Guest can participate in the online auction by following this link, https://www.32auctions.com/elplbbb, and creating an account using their email address. Participants must agree to the terms and conditions of the fundraiser. Donations can also be made directly to the library by visiting https://www.elpl.org/donate-to-the-elpl/.

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