Helium: COVID-19

Updated: Apr 27

APRIL 27, 2020

UPDATE: WE'RE BACK! 🙌

First off, we hope you are all staying home, staying smart, and staying healthy. Now, as you likely are aware, several days ago, Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers, extended the "Safer At Home" order through May 26. Within this extension, however, libraries have been granted the option to offer curbside pickup. At the moment, several Milwaukee County libraries have agreed to participate! A well-deserved thank you is in order for their relentless service.


With these developments, we will once again be accepting rental orders through our website! Nothing will change for you - the customer - in regards to how you place orders, return and renew books, etc. However, we ask that you do please do note the following:


1️⃣ The selection of books will be limited as not all Milwaukee County libraries have yet made plans to offer book rentals via curbside pickup services

2️⃣ Delivery times may extend beyond 48 hours until libraries fully re-open

3️⃣ If you feel at all ill or at-risk of spreading an illness, we ask that you please refrain from using Helium's services


To promise the safe, clean transport of library books to your home, we will closely monitor both library staff and Helium driver compliance with stated curbside pickup procedures. Our system of contactless delivery and pickup provides the safest means of interaction and will continue to be employed. As an added layer of protection, Helium drivers will cleanse all outer book surfaces with a disinfecting wipe prior to delivery.


Let's get reading again! If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please email us at either ian@heliumbooks.com or jacob@heliumbooks.com.


Ian Buchanan & Jacob Carlson

Helium Co-Founders


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MARCH 28, 2020

UPDATE:

First and foremost, we hope each and every one of you is staying safe, smart, and selfless. Stay home, practice good hygiene, and remember, we have to beat this together.


As you likely are aware, a few days ago, Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers, issued a "Safer At Home" order, mandating all non-essential employees to remain home and for all non-essential places of business/buildings to close.


As such, to abide by the Governor's order and uphold public health best practices, all Milwaukee County libraries have made the appropriate decision to close for the immediate future. Given that the books we so happily deliver to you are sourced from these very libraries, Helium's operations must remain suspended until we begin to see re-openings or determine a solution in the interim. If you currently possess outstanding books rented through Helium, all due dates have been extended to May 1, 2020. Of course, we'll remind you two days prior, per usual.


We will keep you apprised of any and all developments in the coming days and weeks. We feel confident that we will gain clarity regarding the current uncertainty by mid-to-late April. However, please recognize that the suspension of our operations may last through April and into May.


We are still hoping to host an April Gathering of the Helium Book Club! Yet, as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is a continuously developing situation, final decisions cannot currently be made. We are targeting April 30 for the event, and have our fingers crossed that we can safely bring the Helium Family together!


We appreciate your continued support throughout these highly unusual times and we thank you for your understanding. Please do continue to interact with us digitally via social media (@heliumbooks). We will be back up and running and operational as soon as possible! Talk soon.


If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please email us at either ian@heliumbooks.com or jacob@heliumbooks.com.


Ian Buchanan & Jacob Carlson

Helium Co-Founders


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MARCH 15, 2020

UPDATE:

In light of developing health-related concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with today's decision to close Milwaukee Public Libraries through March 29 and the fact that only a handful of libraries remain open within Milwaukee County, we have decided to suspend Helium's operations effective immediately. Any rental orders placed will not be fulfilled. If you have outstanding rented books, due dates will remain unaffected - we will notify you in advance, per usual.


The health and well-being of the Helium Family comes before all else and we are responsible for doing our part to ensure your continued safety. This responsibility has also led to our decision to cancel the March Gathering of The Helium Book Club, scheduled to be held the evening of Thursday, March 19. We certainly hope and will be planning to see you all for our next gathering in April.


We have reached out to library administration personnel in hopes of finding a solution in the interim that grants Milwaukee County residents the ability to rent books while keeping in accordance with best health practices.


We will keep you apprised of any and all developments in the coming days and weeks. We feel confident that we will gain clarity regarding the current uncertainty by March 31.


The decision to suspend operations has undoubtedly been a difficult one to make, yet we know we are taking the proper course of action. We appreciate your continued support in these highly unusual times and we thank you for your understanding.


Please do continue to interact with us digitally via social media (@heliumbooks)! We will be back up and running and operational as soon as possible! Talk soon.


If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at either ian@heliumbooks.com or jacob@heliumbooks.com.


Ian Buchanan & Jacob Carlson

Helium Co-Founders


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MARCH 14, 2020

Dear Helium Family,


The recent, rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has undoubtedly impacted each of you in a variety of ways. Of course, your health and well-being should be your focus and top priority at this time and we share your concern. We have been working to gather adequate details and develop a plan of action to ensure our services stay up and operational....because you should never have to sacrifice your desire to read.


Currently, all but five Milwaukee County libraries remain open, keeping to their regular hours. Most, if not all events and gatherings have been cancelled to enforce social distancing best practices. We have spoken with several library representatives regarding their plans to remain operational and are encouraged by their desire to continue performing essential functions. Please understand that, given library closures, the supply of available books - and therefore books we can bring to you - may be limited.


WHAT WE'RE DOING

Currently, our operations remain unaffected. You can place orders here and due date guidelines will remain unchanged. Per library recommendations, we are disinfecting all book covers before they reach customers' hands.


Lastly, our March gathering of The Helium Book Club is still scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19. Should you feel comfortable, we would love to see you there! Click here for more details. To the extent possible, we feel retaining a sense of normalcy is important at this time.


WHAT YOU CAN DO

First and foremost, be safe, be courteous, and apply perspective. If you feel at all ill, we ask you to please refrain from using our services until you feel healthy. If you feel the need to take extra precaution, leave your newly rented books untouched for 72 hours - the maximum number of hours the virus can survive on your book's surfaces. Generally speaking, you've heard it 1,000 times, here's number 1,001 - wash your hands often, monitor your health, and don't jeopardize the well-being of others. Lastly, remember to keep reading! Be it through Helium or otherwise.


We will keep you apprised of any and all developments in the coming days, weeks, months. Stay safe.


Ian Buchanan & Jacob Carlson

Helium Co-Founders

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