Public Library of St. Charles temporarily closes in-person services following threats over mask policy

St. CHARLES, ILL. (WLS) – St. Charles is now closed for in-person visits following backlash over the library’s mask policy.

“We wear masks; we follow the rules and it’s the people who don’t do things like this,” said library patron Ute.

Officials at the west suburb library said they had stopped allowing people inside the newly renovated facility following an incident earlier this week.

The director of the library, Edith Craig, said police were called after a group of about 35-40 adults and children entered the building and refused to wear masks.

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After the incident happened, the library staff’s threats about the library’s mask policy began.

“Unfortunately, things have escalated since that day, and as I said before, voicemails and emails started to happen, and the library feels that at this point we will,” Craig said. pause.

St. Library. Charles later Illinois’ Mask Mission, was reinstated by Governor JB Pritzker in response to the COVID-19 surge.

It requires anyone over the age of 2 to wear a face covering in public indoor places, regardless of COVID vaccination status.

Sam Farley, resident of St. Charles, said: “I think it’s really sad that people resort to threats of violence. “I understand that everyone is very disappointed two years after the pandemic.”

It’s an issue that once again divides the western suburban community between public health measures and individual liberties.

Nearly 200 people logged into a special virtual public meeting on Saturday night, posting comments about the library’s mission. Some also expressed strong support for librarians’ decision to enforce indoor masking mandates across the state.

While the library is closed, taxpayer-funded services are still available online and books can still be inspected and returned through the drive-thru window.

In an effort to keep the library’s staff safe, with about a hundred workers, as well as patrons, the library is offering its virtual services.

Pam Salomone, director of communications and marketing at the St. “We try to make sure we align with the needs of the community and the services they require,” says Charles.

“It’s not very convenient, but if it has to be, it has to be,” said library patron Robert Cunico.

The library’s board of trustees voted to keep the building closed to the public, while it worked with the St. Charles to come up with a plan to enforce the mask duty and keep patrons and staff safe.

There is still no date when they will resume live services.

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