Here's the letter from Library Director Cathy Lucas:

Dear Valued Community and Guests,

It is with a heavy heart I share that Willard Library and the Helen Warner Branch will be closed to the public and staff through at least Sunday, April 5.

This morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) closing places of accommodation including libraries at 3 p.m. today (Monday, March 16).

On Friday, we closed the library to the public through at least Sunday, April 5, but we now must close it to staff as well. During this time we will continue to be good stewards. Our employees will be working from home to keep the library operating and resume services as soon as possible. You may contact us by emailing infodesk@willardlibrary.org or calling 269-968-8166, ext. 513, to leave a message.

Since public health efforts to slow the spread of the virus are most dependent on those who are healthy, we hope our efforts will help flatten the curve to save lives and buy the medical system time to respond.

On Friday, we began offering curbside pickup for books and DVDs. In light of the governor’s order closing libraries, we are unable to continue curbside service. We are disappointed that we are unable to offer this service, and we encourage you to use our digital services.

The apps are easy to use. More information on these services is available at tinyurl.com/WLDownloads. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, help will be available by phone or chat (at willardlibrary.org) during library hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 1 p.m. Sundays.

The digital services are:

--Hoopla: ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and comics. We have increased the monthly Hoopla downloads to 10 per person for March and April.

--Libby: ebooks and audiobooks,

--Overdrive: ebooks and audiobooks, may be used on the internet and do not require an app

--Freegal: Music for streaming or downloading

--RB Digital: Dozens of magazines for downloading.

All due dates have been extended until the library re-opens and no fines will be levied. You may keep your library materials or return them as we will be emptying drop boxes.

Thank you for your understanding. We’ll be posting updates at willardlibrary.org and on our Facebook page.

Take care,

Cathy Lucas

Willard Library Director