Frequently Asked Questions about the TADL COVID-19 Closure *updated* 5/22/20

Why did the Library close?

On Friday, March 13th, the decision was made to close the library until further notice as a matter of public health and safety and to be a proactive part of the solution to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Hours of input from staff, Board members, community leaders, and other regional library directors went into this decision. Closing TADL was one of the hardest and most heartbreaking decisions we have ever made, and it was the safety of our staff and patrons that ended up being the most important factor in that decision.  With over 2,000 visitors per day at our library, we knew we would be exposing our patrons and staff to the potential dangers that the Governor’s Executive Order, at that time, was forbidding with groups over 100 people. On March 16th the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-20 closed all Michigan libraries until April 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM. This includes any curbside or delivery services. On April 9th Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-42 extended the closure until April 30, 2020. On May 1st, Governor Whitmer issued new Executive Orders that extend the closure until May 28, 2020 – Executive Order 2020-69.  On May 22nd, the Governor issued Executive Order 2020-100 which again extended the closure of public accommodations until 11:59 pm June 12, 2020.

When will the Library open?

That’s a good question! We don’t know the answer to that question right now.  As with libraries and librarians all over the world, we are closed because of COVID-19, but are excited to provide services as soon as we are able. The Director and Leadership Team are working on a plan to open the library in stages, with first offering a curbside service once staff are allowed to return to the library.  We will be following the best practices established by our professional library organizations, the CDC, and partnering with the Health Department to keep our staff and patrons safe.

What about my books? My holds? Can I return my items?

The book drop is locked to prevent potential contamination of the library and staff. We ask all patrons to not return their materials until further notice. All TADL and Melcat materials won’t be due until after we open and there will be no late charges during this time. Items currently on Hold will still be available when we reopen. With no staff permitted in the building, we are asking patrons to keep their materials.  We are actively working on a plan to safely get materials back once we can open. 

What about curbside/mail service?

Currently, we are prohibited from doing curbside service by the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21 which stopped all curbside and delivery library services. Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-42 extended Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21 until April 30, 2020. The Governor’s Executive Order 2020-69  extended the closure of libraries and not allowing curbside service until May 28, 2020, at 11:59 pm. We hope to offer this service once we are back in our building and allowed to by law.  Mail services have also been suggested, but with over 80,000 items circulating per month, we would not be able to adequately handle the demand or the costs, and therefore, have decided against offering these services at this time. 

What about the staff? 

The staff is diligently working safely at home, they are not on vacation!  With the help of all of our employees, we transitioned seamlessly to remote work.  (See the paragraph below for all our great services we are currently able to provide.) TADL staff continues to serve the community and work on new services including live Reference Chat, Facebook Live Storytimes, and Book recommendations.  Our Tech Staff is getting ready to give 10,000 students library cards! Please call us at 231-932-8500 or email at ask@tadl.org if you need assistance or have any questions. 

What services are available?

We are excited that TADL’s Youth Services Department is doing Facebook Live Storytimes on weekdays starting at 11 a.m. Copyright will not allow us to record all of these but check out our Facebook Videos for the ones that are available!  We are working on adding some recorded storytimes.  Our Teen Department has many fun events and 4pm chats on the Discord app. Adult Services is offering virtual knitting sessions, live reference chats, book recommendations, and book discussions. Check out our website calendar, Facebook or Instagram for more!

Wi-Fi is available even though the library is not open. It can be accessed 24/7 within the library grounds, whether in a car, on a bike, or sitting on a bench. 

Don’t forget the library has a large collection of digital materials available to patrons living in our taxing district. All are available on TADL.org and are free with your digital account. Digital materials include:

While taking into account our budget, we are negotiating with vendors to offer even more resources than we currently have, so stay tuned to our social media for any updates in services.  Please email ask@tadl.org for any trouble or questions with these services. 

How can I get help?

We will continue to be available to you via email at ask@tadl.org and will work as quickly as possible to answer your inquiry. You can also reach a librarian via live chat during limited hours. You can also still call the Main library at 231-932-8500. If we don’t answer, please leave a message and we will return your call. 

What is going on inside the library? Are the fish okay?

We are CLEANING!  We are following the sanitizing guidelines provided by the CDC and the Grand Traverse County Health Department.  And taking care of our fish and plants! With a very limited team of people working inside the library, we are doing the essential operational and administrative work so that when we are able to reopen we can be fully prepared to serve our community as we love to do.

We appreciate your patience during this challenging time and look forward to the day when we can open our doors again!

Stay well!

Michele P. Howard, TADL Director