FAQs: COVID-19 and the Library

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 and the Library

The library looks and operates a little differently now that the building is open, but we are here to offer friendly and helpful library services while doing our best to keep the community safe. Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and ongoing support.

Staged Reopening: Grab N' Go Services

When is the library open, and what services are available? The library has limited hours and services. Please see our COVID-19 updates page for the most up-to-date information.

How will our library visit be different during the time of COVID-19? When entering the building, patrons over 2 years of age must wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Some services are limited or unavailable to minimize the spread of COVID-19. For a complete list of available services, please check our COVID-19 updates page

What if I cannot wear a mask for medical reasons? Please contact us, and we will be happy to make accommodations for you.

Is there a limit to how many people can visit the library at a time? We have a limit of 50 patrons in the library at a time in order to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. We also ask that you keep your visit as brief as possible, preferably no longer than an hour, to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 and to give others a chance to visit too.

Can I meet my group at the library or use a study room? Not at this time. During our Grab N’ Go Stage, we have limited furniture available, capacity limitations, and increased cleaning protocols. For community health reasons, we continue to discourage gatherings and extended visits.

What else is the library doing to increase safety? The safety of our community is our top priority. Here are the actions we are taking:

  • The drive-up window is available for contact-free return and pickup of materials.
  • We quarantine returned materials for a minimum of 7 days.
  • We have increased the thoroughness and frequency of cleaning.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the library.
  • Seating, toys, and games are temporarily in storage.
  • Touch-free faucets have been installed in restrooms.
  • Six-foot markers have been placed in high traffic areas.
  • Available computers are spaced 6 feet apart.

Why is the library quarantining items? The most recent national research has shown that the virus may linger on library items for up to 7 days. We do not want to take any chances with our community’s health and are doing all we can to keep our staff and patrons safe. Additionally, our library system requires all libraries participating in interlibrary loan to adhere to these guidelines.

Do you have a special time for vulnerable populations to visit? Members of vulnerable populations will be given first priority on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11am.

Checkout and Returns

How do I check out books, DVDs, and other library materials if I don't want to enter the building? The library is offering contactless holds pickup at the drive-up window. Place holds online, and we will notify you when your items are ready to be picked up. See our drive-up services page for more information.

How do I return borrowed materials? The drive-up book drop is open during open hours, or you can return materials inside. Please return all oversized items inside at the Checkout Desk.

Are Library of Things items available? Due to the size and fragile nature of these items, Library of Things items are not available at this stage, with the exception of WiFi Hotspots and Rokus.

Digital Services

Can I still access digital library materials? Yes!  We encourage you to explore the digital library with your library card. Find eBooks, movies, music, magazines, and more. If you have questions, please contact us.

Can I access online learning resources? Yes!  There's so much waiting for you. Get started learning, finding, researching, and creating.

Library Card and Account

I don't have a library card. Can I get one? Yes!  District residents can apply for a temporary library card. These cards will be valid for 30 days and can be used to access eBooks, movies, databases, and online learning tools. When you have a chance, visit the library to complete your application to obtain a permanent card.

How do I place holds on items to pick up at the drive-up window? Place holds online through the catalog or call us during open hours at 847-438-3433. We will notify you when items are ready for pickup. For more detailed instructions, please see our drive-up services page. 

Library Programs and Events

My kids miss storytime. What can we do to pass the time? We understand and can't wait to see you again in person. Until then, please check out our virtual events for kids for online storytimes with Ela Children's Librarians, and explore our kids' digital reading and apps for online picture books to check out and more. We also hope you'll try our outdoor scavenger hunt and sign up for activity boxes to enjoy at home.

When will the Library begin in-person programs again? Our main programming rooms are being used to quarantine materials. We would love to meet in person, but for the current time, we hope you will join us for our online programs

Library Services

Is the library making outreach visits? Not right now. Outreach visits to our assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other institutions are not possible due to continued health precautions. Outreach is working with staff at each site to provide materials for their residents through contactless drop-off.

I am not able to leave my home for health reasons. Can I get library materials delivered? For questions about our home delivery programs, send Outreach services a message, or contact the Library by phone during open hours at 847-438-3433.

Can I make new meeting room reservations? Our meeting rooms are currently being used to quarantine materials and will be for several months. Please continue to visit the library website for updates.

Can I submit 3D print jobs? Yes. 3D printing services are available. Submit your 3D print and a staff member will contact you when it is ready for pickup. 

Can the library's 3D printers be used to create PPE or related equipment? Our 3D printers are fairly small, but we are able to print ear guards for masks. Ear guards attach to the elastic ear bands on medical masks and provide relief for those who need to wear masks for long periods of time. We have donated many of these to local senior care facilities and library outreach sites.

Can I process my passport application? Passport services are currently closed. Please visit travel.state.gov to find open facilities and also to review information on application restrictions and delays.

Are voter registration services available? Yes! You can register to vote at the Information Desk. Please note that this service will close temporarily 27 days before the next election. Please visit Lake County Clerk’s Voter Services for more information.

Is notary service available? Notary is currently not available. Please try these alternate locations:  

  1. Ela Township Assessor's Office1155 E. Route 22, Lake Zurich, IL  (847) 438-8370
  2. Lake Zurich Currency Exchange Inc: 592 W IL Route 22, Lake Zurich (847) 438-0373 
  3. H&R Block1120 S Old Rand Rd, Lake Zurich (847) 438-4535
  4. UPS Store # 5876: 21720 W Long Grove Rd Suite C, Deer Park (847) 726-9696
  5. UPS Store # 1220: 830 W Route 22, Lake Zurich (847) 540-8550
  6. Lavelle Law Ltd.: 1933 N Meacham Rd Suite 600, Schaumburg, IL  (847) 705-7555

How do I receive information on library-related news and events? Please visit our website, sign up for our eNewsletter, and check the library's social media channels (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) for updates. Questions? Contact us via email anytime, and call or chat us during open hours. 


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