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Highland Park Public Library Closes in Response to COVID-19

July 20, 2020: Highland Park Public Library building open by appointment only 
The Highland Park Public Library building reopened with limited services and safety precautions on Monday, July 20, 2020. Online or phone reservations for a 45-minute block will be required for all patrons over the age of 2, and may be made online or by phone. Face coverings are required for all individuals over the age of 2, and physical distancing must be maintained at all times. Entry will be limited to no more than 40 individuals per hour. Many programs continue virtually. Other online services include virtual assistance and online resourcesBooks, movies, music and more are available to download or stream. To learn more and to make a reservation to visit the Library, visit hplibrary.org/opening or call 847.432.0216. 

March 12, 2020 -- Highland Park Public Library Closes in Response to COVID-19
The City of Highland Park and the Highland Park Public Library are taking proactive steps to protect residents

March 15, 2020 Update: For the safety and protection of both the public and Library staff, the Highland Park Public Library will be discontinuing all self-service pickups and will be fully closed beginning at 9 PM on Monday, March 16. Online resources will continue to be available to Highland Park Library cardholders.

March 12, 2020: The Highland Park Public Library (the Library) in partnership with the City of Highland Park (the City), has been closely following developments as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve with attention to the impact on vulnerable populations. As a proactive measure, the Library will close at the end of business (9:00 PM) today, Thursday, March 12 and remain closed until further notice.

Library Executive Director Jane Conway said, “based on advice from reliable health and safety resources, closing the Library will help prevent the spread of illness and is in the best interest of our community.” She continued, “While the risk to residents of Highland Park remains low at this time, implementing social distancing is a recommended strategy for reducing person-to-person infection with diseases like COVID-19. The Library’s high foot-traffic of approximately 1,000 visitors per day with extensive programming and high-use public spaces, like computer stations, pose unique risks in a pandemic situation.” This precautionary action is in line with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which on Wednesday evening released new guidance that prompted the Library’s leadership to act.

Conway consulted with the Board of Trustees, Mayor Nancy Rotering, the City Council, and City Manager Ghida Neukirch before making the decision. “The Library will make every effort to maintain service to the community,” Conway said, noting that staff are prepared to implement standard and creative solutions.  

Additionally, the Library is boosting its Wi-Fi signal so that it’s accessible in the Library’s parking lot.  Those who need to access the internet can do so in the safety and comfort of their own vehicles.

All of the Library’s digital services will remain available during the closure and can be accessed at www.hplibrary.org. Cardholders can check out e-books or e-audiobooks. For children, Tumble Book Library offers talking books, puzzles, and games.  Movies, TV shows, and music can be downloaded or streamed with the online resources hoopla or kanopy.  Online courses, digital magazines, and more are also available.

To apply for a Library card, call (847) 432-0216 or visit hplibrary.org and click on My Account. For more information about Library services during this temporary closure period, visit www.hplibrary.org.

The City of Highland Park is working collaboratively with partners to ensure a prompt, proactive response. On Tuesday, March 10, the City hosted a meeting to discuss strategies for collaboration, communication, and emergency preparedness, and invited partners from the City of Highwood, Village of Deerfield, NorthShore University HealthSystem, the Lake County Health Department, Moraine Township, the Park District of Highland Park, the Highland Park Public Library and School Districts 109, 112 and 113. The group will continue to meet weekly to facilitate the flow of information, share resources, and avoid duplication of efforts.

Additional resources about coronavirus may be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

The City of Highland Park is closely monitoring this developing situation in partnership with the Lake County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Information about the City of Highland Park’s response may be accessed at www.cityhpil.com, via social media and through the City’s eNews. Residents are also encouraged to sign up for Smart911, the City’s emergency alert system, at www.smart911.com.