O’Fallon Public Library Director Ryan Johnson shares the latest information about library news and services. This article originally appeared in O’Fallon Weekly.

It’s a new year and an old set of problems as we all face uncertainty surrounding the latest COVID variants and the surges associated with them.

We at the library have no current plans of closing or modifying services. We want to be here for you while so many other “for granteds” are seemingly up in the air.

Looking back, I’m proud of the success we’ve had so far through this pandemic. Closing for those 82 days between March 18 and June 8, 2020 was a hard but obvious decision.

Ryan Johnson

Since reopening we’ve experienced very little illness among our staff (knock on wood) and that is the primary thing that has allowed us to stay open.

As we see far too often with other businesses and institutions, if you don’t have the staff, you can’t operate. That is especially true here as staff drives everything we do.

I attribute our success to that staff who have remained diligent about masks, hand washing, and other protective protocols. We’ve been doing something right since June of 2020 and we are going to continue to do it.

Granted, there’s no guarantee it will continue to work, but it has so far.

One of the biggest things we’ve been diligent about is masks. “Mask fatigue” is a very real thing. Not just in wearing it, but in enforcing it among those who visit the library.

No one likes to play “mask police,” so I thank you in advance for your continued cooperation as we try to weather this current storm of cases.

Masks are not only proven to reduce the risk of spreading COVID, but they help put everyone else around you at ease, and we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or on edge while visiting the library.

With all that said, I want to reintroduce a few features we have that may be helpful during these winter months.

First, our Homebound Delivery Service is designed to serve those who are unable to make it to
the library due to mobility, health, or disability barriers.

Whether you are at home, in assisted living, or in a nursing facility, we can deliver to you. Visit ofpl.info/
or call 618-206-4345 to learn more.

Need to renew or apply for a new library card? You can do that from home by visiting ofpl.info/apply. Our system will try to instantly verify you, and if successful, you’ll be emailed your new library card number in a matter of minutes.

That means you can start using our apps like Libby, CloudLibrary and Hoopla instantly, without having to brave the winter weather.

Our system can’t instantly verify everyone, so if you hit a snag, give us a call 618-632-3783 or shoot us an email at circdesk@ofpl.info and we’ll help figure out next steps.

We even have wireless printing services available. Send in your print jobs 24/7 from anywhere and pick them up the next day. Check it out at bit.ly/ofplprint.

Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay reading.

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