River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

Building open to the public – what you need to know

The Library building is open to the public in a limited capacity in compliance with the public health guidelines from the Restore Illinois plan and the Center for Disease Control. We offer browsing and check out of library materials, computer sessions, copying, printing, and faxing. 

For the safety of our community and staff, face coverings are required to enter the building. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a face covering, please call or email us and we will do our best to assist you. Library staff are happy to: 

  • Assist with research via phone, email or chat
  • Check out and deliver library materials to you at the entrance to the building
  • Process print and scanning requests and deliver to you at the entrance to the building

Our plan may change at any time based on new information or directives from the State. Please stay up-to-date by checking our website regularly or signing up for our e-newsletter.


Monday:  9 AM-7 PM 

Tuesday-Saturday:  9 AM-5 PM 

Safety Requirements

  • All patrons over 2 years old are required to wear a face covering.
  • Social distancing of 6 feet is expected.
  • While visiting, practice good hygiene such as hand-washing and avoiding touching your face.
  • A staff member at the entrance is in charge of limiting the number of people in the building. You may need to wait until another patron leaves before you can enter.
  • Plexiglass dividers are in place at service desks.
  • No “over-the-shoulder” help is available from staff.
  • Please do not visit the library if you feel sick.

We will continuously evaluate our ability to maintain a safe, healthy environment for staff and patrons. These expectations are subject to change as needed.

Library Spaces

  • Building capacity is limited according to safety guidelines. 
  • No one under the age of 8 can enter the Library without a parent, guardian, or responsible caretaker. 
  • Furniture has been removed or spaced out to help maintain social distancing. 
  • The elevator is limited to 1 person/family at a time.
  • Restrooms are limited to 2 people or one family at a time. 
  • The number of computers have been reduced and sessions will be 30 minutes in length. 
  • Toys and games in the Children’s Room area are currently unavailable. Pre-bagged coloring/activity sheets and craft supplies are available for children to take home.
  • Meeting and study rooms are unavailable.

Library materials, checkouts, and returns:

  • Patrons are allowed to browse displays and the shelves freely, but will be asked to refrain from re-shelving items that they have used but not taken home. 
  • Newspaper subscriptions have been discontinued. Magazines and journals (including the newest issue) may be checked out with staff assistance. 
  • Additional hotspots have been purchased. We also have 2 Chromebook wifi laptops (with hotspots) available to River Forest cardholders for 2 week lending periods. 
  • Holds will be stored on Holds Shelves in the lobby for self-service. Curbside service will no longer be available.
  • The lobby desk is available for checkout of materials. However, we encourage patrons to use self-checkout stations throughout the library.
  • All book drops are open for library returns.

Computer Use

  • Computer use remains on a first come, first served basis. 
  • The number of stations has been reduced to support social distancing and make disinfecting between users easier.
  • Computer sessions will be shortened to 30 minutes to limit exposure and contact
  • Staff will disinfect the chair, work surface, and computer mouse after each user completes their session. Keyboards will be covered in plastic wrap that will be  discarded after each use.
  • One-on-one computer assistance is limited. FAQ guides are available.
  • No computer sessions may start within 30 minutes of morning and evening closing.
  • There are 5 computers available on the second floor and 1 computer available in the Children’s Room. 

Copying, Printing, and Faxing:

  • Our copy machines are available for copying, printing and scanning. Our fax machine is also available free of charge.


  • No public programs will be held in the building. 
  • A combination of virtual and in-person programming (to be held safely outdoors) is being offered.

Patron Support

  • Patron account issues (lost items, returned items still listed on accounts) will be handled over the phone. Please contact 708-366-5205 ext. 306 for assistance.
  • Patrons needing new library cards are encouraged to apply for an online card. In person applications are also available in the vestibule or over the phone.  
  • We are still here to help you find your next great read or provide technical support as circumstances allow. Just ask us or complete this form to get reading recommendations.
  • Older adults that require assistance with library pickups or returns are encouraged to use the free services provided by the River Forest COVID-19 Task Force 

Questions? We’re here to chat online on our website:
Monday: 9 AM-7 PM and Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM-5 PM. You can also call us at (708) 366-5205 ext. 316 or email reference@riverforestlibrary.org and we’ll get right back to you.