Our plan to reintroduce services, reopen buildings

We are in this together

As we share information about COVID-19, here’s information about how your public library is continuing to serve you during this pandemic. Questions? Contact us now and call 708.383.8200. For crisis resources and support, contact the library’s Social Services and Public Safety team

What's happening now in Service Level 1

Putting people and safety first

To help continue to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to serve our community, the library is reintroducing services and reopening buildings in stages, following clearly defined service levels. This plan, approved by the Board of Library Trustees at its April 28 meeting, continues to evolve and be informed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the state of Illinois, and the Oak Park Public Health Department. See a summary of service levels in the graphic below, and read the complete plan now (pdf) »


Contact-free holds pickup, Main Library only. Buildings, parking garage remain closed to public. Staggered returns to begin.


Main Library open with specific capacity limits and some onsite staff for materials, technology support. Public computer use by appointment only.


Dole & Maze reopen. Smaller-scale public meetings and library programs. Study room use only by appointment. Full stacks, special collections access.


Full service restored. Larger-scale library programs. Onsite storytime, outreach to preschools.

What's happening next in Service Level 2 (Wednesday, July 22)​

Visits will look quite different from pre-COVID times. Our decisions will continue to prioritize people’s health and safety, and to be informed by what’s happening with COVID-19 at local and state levels. 

Only the Main Library will be open to the public. The Dole and Maze Branches will remain closed until a later service level of our plan. The consideration there is that the branch spaces are much smaller with limited to no opportunity for necessary physical distancing.

The use of masks and physical distancing will be required to enter and use the Main Library. We have adequate supplies to provide to our staff members, and we have additional masks to offer to community members who might forget to bring their own.

Regular and frequent cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place. Most of that work will be done by our contracted cleaning company and staff will handle frequent high-touch surfaces.

Limited services in the Main Library will be selecting and self-check out of physical materials and calling ahead to make a 45-minute appointment to use a public desktop computer.

  • Total building capacity of 120: This is based on recommendations and guidance provided by staff at the Village of Oak Park, particularly the Public Health Director.
  • Visits of one hour (or less): Spaces will not offer chairs, tables, events, meeting rooms, or study rooms. There will be much fewer reasons for patrons to stay inside the building for extended periods of time.
  • By appointment only computer use: To pre-book a once daily, 45-minute session, Oak Park-only cardholders will need to call ahead of time for a unique session time and computer location.
  • All meeting and study spaces will remain closed. No public gatherings of any kind will be permitted in those spaces until a later service stage. 

We continue to offer access to a digital library, various contact-free services, and virtual patron support. We encourage community members who do not need to come inside the building to continue to take advantage of these services.

The library is prepared to move back to earlier service stages if we see the health, safety, and well-being of our staff members and community members would require that action. To stay open, we need to stay safe.

About physical library items access during Service Level 1

Yes! Through the catalog. Here’s more help from SWAN on how to manage your holds »

Please note: beginning in mid-August, you will be able to receive materials from other SWAN member libraries. When staff returned to the Main Library on June 1, the first priority was to fulfill Oak Park requests for Oak Park materials. Through this work, and after fulfilling thousands of requests through Contact-Free Holds Pickup, we will soon be prepared to fulfill interlibrary loans between Oak Park and other SWAN libraries. We thank you for your patience and for continuing to use your public library during these stressful and unusual times.

Yes! Learn more now »

Today, all internal and outside book drops remain sealed, and we are not collecting and emptying book drops. We ask that you please hold on to your materials until we announce returns are possible. All SWAN due dates will continue to be extended as needed. Currently, SWAN due dates are set as July 31. And remember, there are no late fines for Oak Park items.

Yes. When logged into your library account, you can add titles you want to remember to “My Lists.” Find instructions from SWAN here »

For now, due dates for all SWAN library materials have been extended as needed. SWAN is a consortium of nearly 100 west suburban libraries, and when it comes to late fines, the lending library’s rules apply. It can be confusing, so if you have questions, please contact us.

Yes, but only online article requests may be fulfilled at this time. Visit oppl.org/requests. The Secretary of State and the Illinois State Library filed an emergency rule effective through at least August 12 to temporarily suspend resource sharing, reciprocal borrowing, and interlibrary loan requirements for library system membership.

No, please do not bring materials donations (books, DVDs, CDs) to any location. Find area locations who may accept book donations now »

We are following protocols set by the CDC, the American Library Association, and additional health care and library agencies. Right now, any returned materials will be quarantined for three days before being checked in. This is based on recommendations by RAILS and research conducted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services: “Research Shows Virus Undetectable on Five Highly Circulated Library Materials After Three Days.

We plan to follow guidelines set by the CDC, the library industry’s best practices, and the Oak Park Department of Public Health. Read more about what we’re doing to keep each other safe »

About summer reading, in-person events, meetings & community visits

No, not through August. Library virtual programs continue to be added to this webpage and to oppl.org/calendar. (If you are on mobile, select either “Virtual & Offsite” or “All Locations” to see all virtual programs on the calendar.)

Yes! Virtual, summer-long programs for kids age 3 through rising 9th graders and for adults and teens both launch June 1!

Not yet. With circumstances changing daily, we are not accepting in-person meeting or study room reservations. For meetings online, we are developing a new virtual meeting room service that uses library technology and library staff support to help you host community meetings. More about this new service is coming soon.

Not right now. We are not making any visits or deliveries anywhere, including to homes, daycares, or senior centers, but we are staying connected, conducting virtual visits, and sharing new video content daily at 10 am weekdays for young kids and families.

I have another question & want to speak to someone

Please contact us! We continue working remotely, answering your questions as quickly as we can. Call us at 708.383.8200 and leave a message. Or ask us via oppl.org/contact. A library staff member will respond as soon as possible.


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