Broadview Public Library Districts’ Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Created: March 12, 2020

Last updated: April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Closed until further notice.


It has been very difficult to craft a message of the hope for our future plans when we are receiving updated information on an almost hourly basis. Especially in the early days of the pandemic, we had no idea how life would change and the impact it would have on the way we deliver service.


At its very core, a public library is a gathering place. When anything important happens that disrupts our normal routine, libraries have traditionally kept the doors open to allow people to come in and process what’s happening.


With the presence of COVID-19, we have not been able to do this. In an unprecedented move, libraries were among the first institutions to close doors to help stop the spread. What worked in this library’s favor was that we were already closed to the public due to the construction project. But then we had to suspend even curbside delivery of materials and leave the building.


Throughout this time that we’ve been closed, the remaining amount of construction has progressed almost to completion. There are a few odds and ends that we have to take care of so that when we can officially open, we’ll be prepared to receive visitors. At this time, we do not have an official opening date. That, of course, will be determined by when we’re able to successfully gain entry and begin working inside the building again.


What we do know is that we’ve been busy behind the scenes, trying to very quickly figure out how to become a remote work force. Email reference has always been a thing. Our online resources like ebooks and tutoring have been around for a good amount of time, too. In the coming weeks, we hope to roll out remote telephone support. And in the meantime, we are formulating our plans to re-open, which will now have to include measures that keep everyone safe.

Lastly, we know that Broadview has had some residents personally affected by the novel coronavirus and so we extend our deepest sympathies to all. The Library is an integral part of the community and we hope to be there for you physically, not just remotely, in the near future.


Stay safe,

Keisha Hester

Executive Director


March 13, 2020


If you have been our patron or followed us for any length of time, you know that we are wrapping up our major renovation and addition project during the month of March 2020. This new facility has been a long time coming, and we are very excited to unveil it to you, and have you utilize it as intended.

With sadness, we will not be able to present it to you in the manner in which we hoped. In December 2019, a respiratory illness now named COVID-19 surfaced. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. What this means is that this particular disease is spreading and has the potential to affect many lives, as it already has.

As we always want to do what’s in the best interest of the community, we have had to make some really tough decisions based upon the rapid dissemination of information related to COVID-19 and its impact on the world. Already other library systems and governmental entities have taken the unprecedented step to close their facilities and sharply curtail services. 

While there is some documentation that as of today, the risk to Illinoisians is low, that does not mean we are not at risk or immune to becoming affected. Governor Pritzker has even mandated limits on large gatherings until May 1, 2020. For this reason, we are taking the following steps, as outlined below.

Grand Re-Opening Delayed

Our much anticipated grand re-opening will be delayed until a safer time. We do not want to risk prolonged close contact or food handling. As the situation unfolds, we hope to set a firm date. However, we will have to closely monitor the situation to determine when this will be.

Unless otherwise noted, we will re-open to the public on Friday, May 1, 2020 for regular service hours. We are monitoring the situation daily, and remain closed until at least May 1, 2020.

The community will be alerted via our website,, on the COVID-19 Info tab and our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Everyday Cleaning

The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is limiting exposure to others who may potentially be infected. In addition to that, proper handwashing hygiene and staying home when sick are tantamount to preventing its spread. 

We utilize CleanNet of Illinois as our cleaning service six days per week. They clean the entire facility every evening after we close. CleanNet has instructed their franchisees to undertake special disinfecting and sanitizing measures.

When we re-open and the cleaning company is not on site, staff will be scheduled to spot disinfect/sanitize the most popular areas of the library. This will include wiping down service desks and associated equipment like telephones and computers; door handles; countertops; chairs and tables; and computers for public use. We may be able to provide the public with a disinfecting wipe prior to their usage of materials and equipment, however this will also depend upon availability of such materials, which are now becoming scarce.

What Patrons Can Do

As much as we don’t want to say it, patrons may find more comfort in staying home rather than in visiting the Library. Effectively immediately, we have suspended physical lending services until it is safer to do so. 

As of today, the Library is closed due to the renovation project. We plan to re-open on Friday, May 1, 2020. Should anything occur during the next few weeks that would prevent us from doing so, we will inform the public by the means discussed above.

Patrons can also take advantage of our online resources, which includes checking out ebooks and movies using their active library card. Through June 2020, we will be automatically renewing patron cards so that you won’t have a lapse in service. We will have limited staff on hand to address patron questions and concerns, so the best way to reach us is via our general email at

Impact to Staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging employers to have a more flexible sick leave policy at this time. We agree with it, as it is in the community’s best interest that staff not feel penalized for something beyond their control.

When employees, truly in any work situation, feel that they must come to work when they are sick, they risk exposing others. Here at the Library, we work with the public, and as such are exposed to people from all walks of life. It is possible that someone who does not know they have been exposed to COVID-19 visits us, and unwittingly exposes staff. If we are stringent in the requirements utilized under normal circumstances during this special time, we then risk staff in turn exposing others. 

While libraries have traditionally been places where community members gather when there is a crisis, unfortunately COVID-19 does not give us this opportunity to serve our patrons and all who come through the door in this way. We do ask that patrons, as well as staff, stay home if they are sick. We promise to welcome you back with open arms when this crisis has passed.

In closing, we are heartbroken that we are not able to host you at our grand re-opening this month. We want you to remain healthy so that when it is scheduled, you will be there to enjoy it. In the meantime, we plan to open for service on Friday, May 1, 2020. Please stay tuned to our website and social media pages for the latest updates.

Until then.

Keisha Hester (and Staff)

Executive Director