Though it is not quite business as usual, Petoskey District Library continues to follow their phased plan, safely welcoming patrons into the space six days a week. Since reopening to the public on June 22, the library has found innovative ways to continue services safely, including the continuation of curbside service and by offering their programs virtually. Not only do the staff follow vigorous cleaning protocols throughout the day, the library’s air filtration system continually brings in fresh air and was upgraded to include hospital grade filters, all part of their commitment to uphold safety protocols to provide a safe environment for all who visit.
Other efforts to keep patrons safe include the installation of automatic door openers on all public restroom doors, and soon all faucets will be touchless as well. Restroom toilets and paper towel dispensers went touchless prior to the pandemic. These upgrades have been on the library’s wish list for some time. “The time was definitely right to move these important updates up to the top of the list. Not only does this help make the bathrooms more accessible, patrons can avoid high touch point surfaces, which is so important as we work to keep each other as safe as possible,” said Facility Manager Neil Ahrens.
All guests over the age of four are required to wear face masks while visiting the building. Numerous signs and decals, plus the removal of some seating, help visitors and staff practice social distancing. Newly installed Plexiglas barriers help protect the staff and patrons at each service desk, and hand sanitizing stations and latex gloves are placed throughout. Since reopening, the library has gladly provided masks to anyone who is without.
“Keeping our building safe and our patrons healthy is of upmost importance. We have followed the research and adjusted the quarantine of all incoming library returns to the recommended four days. This means patrons are waiting longer to see items cleared from their accounts, and to receive their special requests, but it also means we are keeping one another as safe as possible,” said Library Director Valerie Meyerson.
Even a masked Belfry the Owl greets patrons at the door, ready to take a photo with visitors, reminding them that PDL gives a hoot about health!