Library District customer service personnel, Diane and Alex, are pictured recently preparing bags of books for “Grab & Go” pick-up by patrons.

The North Suburban Library District is in business, just in case you haven’t heard! Executive Director Mary Petro explained last week, “We are open and operational for the public under COVID regulations.

“The library is now offering more virtual programs, such as traditional story hours (“Wiggle Giggle”), so children can watch from home.”

There has been a very good response from patrons, Petro said, as virtual viewing takes away the need for social distancing as would be the case if they were physically at the library. “They can view story hour and programs at their convenience,” she added, saying, “We are using a well-designed model that reinforces pieces of learning, which helps parents.”

Many parents are now in the role of teacher and with the Internet, can interact between the library and their children. Developing literary skills in reading, comprehension, and understanding concepts are all benefits.

The library district also works in partnership with the Literary Council (“Partners Forever”) through story hour, for example, and because of it have been able to adapt under current conditions.

The NSLD Facebook page is the place to connect to for weekly virtual programs, such as “Wiggle Giggle,” preschool story hour and “Wiggle Giggle Grow.” Keep an eye on the Facebook page to for more programming for all ages.

Patrons may now instantly stream or download movies, TV shows, music, comic books “and more with Hoopla. Download eBooks, eAudiobooks, and movies with OMINI Overdrive. Downloads include HeritageQuest, Tumblebrook, Library Novelist, Morningstar Investment, and more.”

To learn how to use these services visit the NSLD website.

Another current undertaking is what the library refers to as “Grab & Go” where a patron can call and order books, for instance and library staff will bag the books so the patron can just run in and pick up their books!

Petro noted that “This keeps a lot of people out of the building by enabling them to call in and have books placed on hold. We pull the item or items for quick pick up, bag it, and place in on our ‘Wall of Bagged Books’ for pick up. It certainly makes life easier.”

The library district is also now buying “more popular models, such as books off best seller lists or ‘Award’ books, which students are required to read and the library will have them available.”

Petro said grants have definitely helped the district to purchase more copies.

A new book area has been set up in the library for people who want to come and browse selections themselves and all areas are regularly cleaned. Masks are a requirement.

New local history items have been added to the library’s local history collection, including a “History of Harlem Township” by Brian Landis, local historian, and the Illinois Heritage Magazine. VHS tapes have now been transferred over to DVDs, and patrons can utilize the HeritageQuest online services, which has access to census records between 1790 and 1940, city directories, Freedman’s Bank between 1865 and 1874, U.S. Indian census rolls, and other database offerings. To access the website go to the NSLD website ( under “Online Reference Databases.” A library card and PIN are required.

Masks must currently be worn at all times when inside the facility and it is recommended “to limit capacity and enable better social distancing” by keeping visits as short as possible. Children under 12 years of age must be supervised by a parent or guardian and at this time study rooms, “Fun Place,” and other library spaces are not available.

Library hours for the public, both at the Loves Park and Roscoe branch, are currently set at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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