An Update From Library Director Kristin Shelley

To our Community:

In the interest of protecting the well-being of our East Lansing community, and following information from state and federal public health authorities regarding the mitigation of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the East Lansing Public Library decided to temporarily close to the public beginning March 16 to April 12.

This was a difficult decision to make. We value our role as a gathering space for East Lansing; however, remaining open is not in the best interest of our community at this time. The scientific community is in agreement that extreme social distancing is essential to slowing the spread of the virus and reducing the burden on our health care system. Our library team is dedicated to providing excellent public service, and the best way we can serve our patrons and community right now is to aid in slowing the spread of the virus, especially as our patrons include many older adults and others at high risk.

We believe that libraries are partners in promoting a healthy community. At the East Lansing Public Library, we will work creatively to leverage our resources to support as many of our patron’s needs as possible during this period of social distancing. We will remain a source for trusted information and a provider of research databases, streaming movies and music, and eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines. These items are available via cloudLibrary, hoopla, RBdigital, Kanopy and Overdrive. Remember our databases while your children are home from school. There are great resources that you only need a Michigan driver’s license to access. These services are free to access with your library card. If you need a library card please apply for one on our website and we’ll create an online card for you. Do not worry about coming into the library to sign a form, we will activate your card and send you a library card number as soon as we process your online application. We will continue to provide high-quality reference services ranging from book recommendations to tech help to community resources; we will provide these services virtually via e-mail, our website, and through social media.

Do not worry about returning or renewing your materials. We will be extending due dates and waiving fines during the closure. Please return your materials when we reopen; however, our drop will remain open and accessible during the closure. If you have an item on the hold shelf it will be waiting for you when we reopen. If you have items on hold that haven’t arrived yet you will maintain your place in the holds queue.

At this time it is our intention to minimally staff the library for a few days each week. We are looking at ways to make additional materials available via online platforms and we will be exploring possible methods to make physical items available to our patrons. As we make headway on these initiatives we will be back in touch via our website and social media. Additionally, to assist with your internet connectivity needs, we have enabled the library to function 24/7, and will keep our WIFI on; the signal extends to the parking lot and the library entrances.

It's vital to remember that COVID-19 is not connected to any race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma and bias will not help fight this illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reducing misinformation. You can find reliable and current information about this pandemic from local, state, and national agencies on our website.

Our library team looks forward to welcoming the community back into the library. We will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. Follow ELPL on social media (Facebook, opens a new window, Instagram, opens a new window, LinkedIn and Twitter, opens a new window), check our website, and sign up for our eNewsletter for the latest updates. In the meantime, we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we do our part to support the health and safety of our community.

With much appreciation,

Kristin Shelley and the ELPL staff