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Posted on: June 8, 2020

Sterling Heights Public Library reveals reopening plan

The busiest municipal building in Sterling Heights, the Library, has created a multi-stage plan to reopen to the public.

"Our staff has been eager to resume its services, but we needed to develop a plan with an eye toward health and safety,” said Library Director Tammy Turgeon. “The plan includes incremental steps that will increase our activities over time.”

According to Governor Whitmer’s latest Executive Order, public libraries are allowed to reopen beginning June 8. The Sterling Heights Public Library will officially reopen on Monday, June 8 with phone-only services. Residents may call the Library to place holds on items, seek help with digital services, and ask general questions by calling (586) 446-2665. Library staff is also ready to receive returns of Library materials in our curbside book drop as well as the book drops that are attached to the building.
Beginning June 15, the Library will begin contactless curbside pickup. Residents will need to place holds beforehand, either by calling the Library or by signing into their accounts at shpl.net. Once the holds arrive, patrons may drive up to the Library, park in one of the designated parking spots and call a special curbside phone number, (586) 446-2665, to ask library staff to bring their items to their car.

“We set up a plan to get our patrons their items as quickly and safely as possible,” said Library Circulation Supervisor Low Foreit. “Residents are asked to call library staff and provide their library card number along with the color and make of their car. Patrons will then unlock their trunks so library staff can drop off the items without any direct person-to-person contact."

Beginning June 29, the Library will allow a limited number of residents to use its computers, copier, and fax/scan station. Patrons can use the technology for up to one hour a day. Reservations can be placed up to one week in advance by calling (586) 446-2665 or by registering at shpl.net/610.
“Due to the current construction in the Library, we have very limited space available for public use. We hope to offer more in-person services beginning in September, including programs and classes to be held at the Sterling Heights Community Center,” said Turgeon.
The staggered service plan will incorporate additional measures to ensure a healthy environment. All staff will use masks and have their temperature taken at the start of their shift. Additionally, all items returned to the Library will undergo a 72-hour quarantine. Any staff that handles those materials will use gloves. Finally, staff will be divided into discrete shifts with plenty of physical separation to limit the possibility of spreading disease.

Per the city of Sterling Heights’ April 15 announcement, the Library’s in-person programming is suspended through at least June 30. “While we cannot offer our typical programming, our staff has created a lot of virtual content during the shutdown, and we plan to continue those programs in the coming months,” said Library Public Relations & Programs Coordinator Jason Groth. Residents can see an upcoming schedule of virtual activities at shpl.net/610.

Groth added the Library’s Summer Reading program, a hallmark seasonal event, will still take place this year. “It will be a bit different this time around, but it should be familiar to our regulars.” The Summer Reading program is set to begin June 8 and will feature a virtual and physical option. “Residents are encouraged to join the virtual program, but we will allow paper submissions for those who don’t own a computer,” said Groth. A ballot box will be placed outside the Library’s main entrance for residents to pick-up and drop-off their paper Summer Reading submissions.
The Sterling Heights Public Library’s normal hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 9 pm, Friday from 1 to 5 pm, and Saturday from 9:30 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit shpl.net or call (586) 446-2665 after June 8.

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