Heights Libraries closes all branches during COVID-19 outbreak
Heights Libraries wants the community to know that the health and safety of customers and staff is its top priority. It therefore decided to close all of its buildings as of Friday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m.
"This was not an easy decision, and not one that library leadership made lightly," said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. "We decided to close our buildings at the recommendation of the Ohio Department of Health. Research indicates that early social distancing can help slow the spread of the disease."
To help customers understand the closing and its repercussions, it put the following FAQ list on its website and Facebook page, and also sent it to customers in an eblast:
Are all four Heights Libraries buildings closed? Yes. The Coventry Village, Lee Road, Noble Neighborhood, and University Heights branches are closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Do you have any idea when you will be open again? We do not know when our buildings will reopen. We will be closely monitoring information from Gov. DeWine’s office and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about the situation, and will abide by the directives and recommendations of the ODH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why did you close all the buildings? Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton closed all schools and recommended that gatherings of 100 or more be canceled. Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19, and our buildings are heavily used and get very crowded. We anticipated crowds in our buildings would only increase with the closing of schools and other major institutions, such as museums.
What if I have items due? We have locked all book drops, so are asking customers to hold on to items until further notice. Overdue fines will be suspended during the closure, and no accounts will be sent to collections during the closure.
What if I have items on hold? While you cannot pick up hold items at this time, hold items will be held during the closure; they will NOT be sent back.
What kinds of services are you still offering? All of our online and digital services are available 24/7 via our website, https://heightslibrary.org/services/digital-collection. We also have free WiFi that can be accessed in our parking lots and near our buildings. We are assessing what other services we may be able to offer. Please watch our Facebook page and website (www.heightslibrary.org) for updates.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.