Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated Herrick’s main branch would open on May 29 for curbside hold pickup only. Since publication, Herrick has pushed back that date due to the governor’s extension of the stay-home order until May 28. The library will not be able to open for curbside service until at least a week after the stay-home order has been lifted.


HOLLAND — By last week, Herrick District Library’s North Branch had planned to be fully moved into a temporary space at the Shops at Westshore, books and all, while work on the expansion of the library ramped up.


But the coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders have delayed both the construction work on the Riley Street branch and the branch’s temporary relocation for the duration of the $4 million expansion project.


Currently, HDL is looking at a March 2021 completion date for the North Branch project, community relations manager Sara DeVries said.


Construction was one of the industries that was halted during the first stay-at-home orders, although construction work on infrastructure projects, such as roads, was still allowed. The construction industry can resume work Thursday, May 7.


Unless further executive orders from the state government prevent it, HDL plans to open the North Branch in its temporary location in Suite 50, the former Buckle storefront, at the Shops at Westshore in mid-June.


The expansion project will double the square footage of the branch and add a meeting room, study rooms and an early literacy play area.


Herrick’s main branch, meanwhile, is preparing to open in phases over the next several months, once the governor’s stay-at-home orders are lifted. The current order ends May 28.


Herrick will initially open for curbside hold pickup only, once staff are able to return to work at the library. DeVries said curbside service could begin one week after the statewide stay-home order is lifted.


More details about curbside service will be announced closer to reopening, DeVries said.


Library programming, including the summer reading program, will continue to take place virtually.


"Public meeting space and meeting rooms will be available when it is safe to do so, likely in several weeks or months," DeVries wrote in an email. "CDC guidelines, nationwide library best practices, the state of Michigan's Public Health Department and the Ottawa County Health Department will continue to be consulted as the library reopens in phases."


"We miss seeing our library users and are eager to welcome them back to the library as soon as it is safe to do so," said HDL Director Diane Kooiker. "It will take some time to return to library use in the way we were used to prior to COVID-19. Thank you to our community for your patience as we wait for safer conditions."


Zeeland’s Howard Miller Public Library is planning a similar phased reopening, with the first phase involving staff returning to work at the library building and beginning to accept book returns, Library Director Heather Wood-Gramza told the Zeeland City Council Monday.


In the second phase, which could begin as soon as one week after library staff resume in-person work, the library would begin to offer curbside service to patrons. Howard Miller was one of the first libraries in the state to launch a curbside holds pickup service in December.


Once local and national health officials advise that gatherings of 50 or more are permissible, the library will be able to open the building to the public again, Wood-Gramza said, with measures in place to protect the health of staff and patrons such as sneeze guards, one-way traffic flow through the library and hand sanitizing stations.


— Contact reporter Carolyn Muyskens at cmuyskens@hollandsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.