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St. Charles Library decides not to renew contract with security firm

Security guard was put in place after threats were made earlier this year against employees for following state’s indoor mask requirements in place at the time

The St. Charles Public Library reopened for in-person visits on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022 after being closed for more than two weeks after threats were made against employees for following the state’s indoor mask requirements.

The St. Charles Library Board has decided not to renew its contract with a security firm that was put in place after threats were made earlier this year against employees for following the state’s indoor mask requirements that were in place at the time.

“We did not feel a need to renew the contract,” Library Board President Robert Gephart said after the May 11 Library Board meeting. “We had the minimum term and we did not have the need to renew it. We did not see the need to exceed that time frame.”

The library closed to in-person visits for more than two weeks following the threats. When it reopened its doors in early February, a security guard was put in place at the library’s entrance to enforce the COVID-19 mask policy.

The library’s 90-day contract with STT Security started Feb. 7 and expired last week. The contract was for 75.5 hours a week at an estimated cost of $4,041.88 a week.

On Feb. 28, library officials stopped requiring patrons to wear masks inside the library, which is when the state’s mask mandate expired.

A group of more than three dozen people in January protested the library’s decision to follow the statewide indoor mask mandate. Employees also received “hundreds of communications,” some that included threatening comments, officials previously said.

Many of these communications and posts threatened a form of physical retaliation against the library, including statements that unmasked large groups would enter the library, according to a post on the library’s website.