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Palos Heights Public Library Director Jesse Blazek gives the city council an update on in-person programs on May 3. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights Public Library Director Jesse Blazek gives the city council an update on in-person programs on May 3. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

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Director tells city council in-person programs are back at Palos Heights Library

By Jeff Vorva

In-person programs started back at the Palos Heights Public Library this month.

Library director Jesse Blazek spoke at the May 3 city council meeting to give an update after Alderman Don Bylut questioned the lack of in-person programs at a council meeting in April.

“Our plan was to have in-person programming in January, when kids were able to get vaccinated,” Blazek said. “So many of our programs are attended by young kids and their elderly caregivers. We felt like vaccination was an important thing.

“The plan was for January and Omicron came around and wiped out that plan.”

Those issues plus a massive reconstruction project forced the library to continue to host remote programs.

“We knew going in, the construction project was going to start in February or March,” Blazek said. “We weren’t quite sure at that point. Once we had to take a step back in January, it only made sense to continue until the construction had started.

“With the construction, we weren’t entirely sure what space we would have available. We didn’t know if we would have meeting room space available. We didn’t know if we would be storing lots of books and whatnot into it. We bit the bullet and sent a lot of things offsite to be stored.”

He said kids programs are back in person and adult program will likely start back up in person in June.

“Adults have shown a strong response that they appreciate the virtual programming option,” Blazek said. “We’re not to rush back until we have a good hybrid model. We’re testing it out to see if we can have in-person programs that can also be broadcast remotely.”

Other business

  • The council voted to adopt the necessary ordinances to vacate a portion of the 68th Avenue right of way between 125th and 127th Streets and attach the vacated right of way to parcels located along 68th
  • A motion to approve installation of a bike rack at City Hall was referred back to the Building and Grounds Committee.
  • The council approved a request from the Palos Area Chamber of Commerce for a special event permit for its Majestic Trail Race Run, which is scheduled for Dec. 3.

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