Emergency Closings Policy


The Library is a public service institution, and every effort is made to maintain regular hours for the public.  The Library will be closed only when weather conditions deteriorate to the point where there is concern for the safety of staff and patrons, when vital equipment in the building fails (e.g., furnace malfunction, no water in the building, no electricity, etc.) or when there is a general emergency within the Library or the St. Joseph area.  The decision to close the Library will be based upon:

• General conditions of roads in the St. Joseph area.
• Condition of the parking areas around the Library and the Library's walkways.
• Availability of staff to open and operate the Library.  Minimal staffing levels are defined as a minimum of at least three librarians or library assistants.  The Library can operate with a reduced staff when the number of patrons is expected to be abnormally low.
• Condition of the Library building and/or the Library building's equipment.
• Requests for closure by local, county or state law enforcement agencies.

The Library will not automatically close or delay opening based on any other institution's actions.  The decision to close will be made by the Library Director.  If the Library Director is unavailable, the senior librarian on staff will make the decision after conferring with the Board President or another Board Officer if the Board President is unavailable.  Every effort will be made to decide two hours before the closure will be effective, with the understanding that there may be emergency situations where closure must occur immediately.  Once the decision to close or to open late is made, the Director or senior staff member will notify the staff and St. Joseph City and St. Joseph Township.  Closing information will then be posted publicly on the library website, local news and radio stations, library social media accounts, and the phone answering system.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on April 28, 2015.