The Return of Browsing and Computer Use
Heights Libraries is pleased to announce it will be expanding services in its four buildings in September to include browsing and limited computer use. Computer use will begin Tuesday, September 15, and browsing will begin the following week, Tuesday September 22.
Due to COVID-19, however, computer use and browsing will look different due to safeguards in place to keep customers and staff as safe as possible.
Computer use will require a reservation, and reservations may only be made by phone–walk-ups and online reservations are not available at this time. Computer use will also now require a library card—guest passes will not be available. Customers may make a reservation by calling (216) 932-3600, ext. 1221, starting September 10 at 1:30 p.m. Use is limited to one computer session per day, and sessions last for 45 minutes.
Browsing will be permitted in all sections–Adult, Teen, and Children’s—but customers will be asked to stay only as long as they need to get their materials. To achieve safe social distancing, the Library is limiting the number of customers in the buildings, and has removed chairs and tables to discourage lingering. If a staff member thinks an area is too crowded, they will ask customers to move along so that others may enter the building. Reference staff will be at reference desks again, but will assist customers from behind Plexiglas barriers.
Why do things at the library keep changing?
Right? It’s confusing! The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Public health authorities are learning new things seemingly every day. This information has an impact on what activities and services are, and are not, considered safe. As this information changes, we must update and change our policies, too, to keep customers and staff safe.
Do I still have to wear a mask?
Yes! You must wear a mask in our buildings, with both your nose and mouth covered. It must remain on your face while you are in the building.
How long can I stay in the building?
Please stay only as long as you need to get your materials. To achieve safe social distancing, we are limiting the number of customers in the buildings. If a staff member thinks an area is too crowded, or we have customers waiting to come in, we may ask you to move along so that others may enter the building.
Can I use a computer?
Yes! But you must make a reservation in advance, and have a library card. We will not offer guest passes at this time. Click here for details.
Where are the chairs and tables?
To discourage customers from staying too long and congregating in groups, we have removed the tables and chairs.
Can my kids play in the play areas?
Not yet. It is very difficult for young children to understand, and engage in, social distancing. And at this time, we do not want customers to linger in the buildings.
Can I get help from a reference staff person?
Yes! Reference staff can answer your questions. They will stay behind a Plexiglass shield while they do so. If your questions require extensive research, staff may ask for your phone number or email address so they can contact you with the information at a later time.
Can I reserve a study room?
We are not allowing use of the study rooms at this time.
Can I reserve a meeting room?
We are not allowing use of the meeting rooms at this time.
Can I use the restroom?
Yes! Restrooms are now open to the public.
Can I still eat and drink in the library?
No. To discourage lingering, we have removed all chairs and tables, so we are not allowing food and drink in our buildings at this time.
What to Expect in the Lobby
Starting June 2 at the Lee Road branch (June 9 at the Coventry, Noble, and University Heights branches), we will transition from curbside holds pickup service to limited lobby services during the following hours:
- Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 – 9 p.m.
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 12-5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, SENIORS ONLY, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: For the Lee Road branch, seniors should enter from the parking lot during senior hours.
Customers must wear face masks to enter the lobby, and remain six feet away from staff and other customers at all times by following the red guides on the floor. Thank you for your cooperation as we serve you while staying safe! Read more.
Update May 22
Heights Libraries Cuts Budget by $ 2 million
At its May 18 meeting, the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees approved a cost-reduction plan designed to trim the library’s budget by $2 million in the second half of fiscal year 2020. The library’s 2020 budget is $11,585,412 and will hit the half-way point on June 1.
“The library is anticipating severe funding cuts in the near future,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Ohio’s Public Library Fund has been reduced by roughly 35 percent, and we are expecting property tax collection to fall sharply. The majority of our funding, over 80 percent, comes from these two sources.”
The Library will cut $800,000 from the budget in four areas: materials, purchased services (such as staff training), land and building improvements, and supplies. The remaining $1.2 million will come from cutting salaries and benefits, including a 10-percent salary cut for all full-time management staff and a 14-percent salary cut for the director.
Update May 14
Heights Libraries Prepares for a Partial Reopening
Heights Libraries is pleased to announce that it will begin offering limited services at the Lee Road branch the week of May 18, and has also started preparing its four branches for a partial reopening, scheduled for June 2 at Lee Road and June 9 for the Coventry, Noble, and University Heights branches.
On Monday, May 18, the Lee Road branch will begin to offer three services: curbside holds pick-ups, phone reference, and homebound delivery.
Phone reference services will begin on May 18 and be available Monday-Friday, 9a.m. – 5 p.m. (No reference service on May 25, Memorial Day.) Phone reference supplements online reference services, that began on April 27 through the library’s website. Homebound delivery, which was suspended after the closing on March 13, will also start again on May 18.
Update April 20
Statement from the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees
April 20, 2020
Dear Community Members,
On March 13, following guidelines from the state of Ohio, the Board of Trustees of the Heights Libraries closed its doors to the public.
However, while the buildings are closed, our staff are still busy serving the community in many ways. They have continued to make some services available by relying on online activities such as online reference services through the website, virtual storytimes on social media, and the many digital resources collections available through CLEVNET and through our own online databases such as Hoopla, Acorn TV, and Kanopy.
They have also been hard at work reaching out via social media postings, blog posts, podcasts, and eNewsletters containing suggestions for how to weather the closings with young children at home, how to use Zoom for meetings, and how to avoid scams that have surfaced during the pandemic. In addition to providing as many services as possible during closure, all staff members have also been instructed to use this time to complete learning goals and strategic goals. READ MORE.
Update April 1
Following Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton’s executive order closing schools until at least May 1, the Heights Libraries will also remain closed during that same time, and will remain closed as long as Dr. Acton and Ohio Mike DeWine recommend that the schools stay closed. Read more here.
Heights Libraries Closure FAQ
All Heights Libraries branches are closed until further notice. This was not an easy decision, and not one that Library leadership made lightly.
Heights Libraries wants the community to know that the health and safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and messages from the Centers for Disease Control, the State of Ohio, and the County Health Department.
Are all 4 Heights Libraries buildings closed?
Yes. The Coventry Village, Lee Road, Noble Neighborhood, and University Heights branches are closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Do you have any idea when you will be open again?
We do not know when our buildings will reopen. We will be closely monitoring information from Governor DeWine’s office and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about the situation and will abide by the directives and recommendations of the ODH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What if I have items due?
We have locked all book drops, so are asking customers to hold on to items until further notice. Overdue fines will be suspended during the closure, and no accounts will be sent to collections during the closure.
What if I have items on hold?
While you cannot pick up hold items at this time, holds items will be held during the closure; they will NOT be sent back.
What if my library card expired/is going to expire?
If your library card expired/will expire after September 19, 2019, it has been (or will be) automatically renewed, so you can still access online materials.
What kinds of services are you still offering?
All of our online and digital services are available 24/7 via our website. We also have free WiFi that can be accessed in our parking lots and near our buildings. We are assessing what other services we may be able to offer. Please watch our Facebook page and website for updates.
Why did you close all the buildings?
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton closed all schools and recommended that gatherings of 100 or more be canceled. Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19, and our buildings are heavily used and get very crowded. We anticipated crowds in our buildings would only increase with the closing of schools and other major institutions such as museums.
We will continue to put updates on our website and social media, and will also send out updates via eblast.
Customers are asked to keep their items (books, DVDs, CDs), as book drops will be locked. Their will be no fines during this closure, and we will not send customers to collections until further notice.
We encourage you to do everything you can to stay healthy including:
- washing your hands frequently
- avoiding touching your face
- staying home unless you absolutely need to leave your house for essentials like food and medicine, or because you have to work or care for a loved one
For accurate, up-to-date information, visit the following public health agency websites: