Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Libraries

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Library Services Updates as of April 26, 2021

Our libraries have expanded express browsing to allow more access to collections and express internet stations. Holds pickup available during our open hours.  Book drops at both locations open 24/7. Learn about our current services including document printing, browsing assistance, and more!

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Welcome Back! We are glad to see you again and grateful for your support of library services in the Cedar Mill & Bethany communities.

New online programs and events are now available. Library operations have been re-designed to get items into your hands while keeping you safe. CMBCL librarians are sharing their recommendations for great reads, hand-selecting books for patrons and getting them ready for pick up.

Learn about current library services

Welcome Back!

We are glad to see you again and grateful for your support and patience. Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries have turned the page on change and written a new chapter featuring opportunities for community progress and unique services designed to provide you with all that your libraries have to offer.

New online programs and events are now available. Library operations have been re-designed to get items into your hands while keeping you safe. CMBCL librarians are sharing their recommendations for great reads, selecting books for patrons and getting them ready for pick up. Find out what’s in store for you this fall from Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries…

Read more of the September / October Newsletter Online

From Peter Leonard, Executive Director, updated June 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

Holds service turned on. Beginning June 22, users may place holds for library items at wccls.org. The holds system through our county is complex and involves multiple libraries and a centralized courier system. Since libraries are at different stages of reopening and all returns must be quarantined for 72 hours, delivery will be slower than it was before the pandemic. The automatic holds notification system will not be turned on until most libraries reach a common service level. Each library will be contacting their borrowers when holds are available and arrange the pickup process. Libraries will first focus on fulfilling holds for their users from their own local collections. This initial process is not as robust as our users experienced in the past, but a measured approach at this time keeps the system sustainable.

Your libraries set up safety protocols for staff to work in the building. Physical distancing, mask wearing, work team scheduling, enhanced cleaning and quarantining are all part of the new systems put into place. New books that were ordered in March were delivered and are now being processed.

A new system for contactless pickup. We are using an appointment model because we can serve many more users than the “call a number when you arrive” model that may be used by other businesses. During this first stage of offering in-person services, in-library use will not be available. Libraries are not allowed to offer in-library services until Phase 2 of the Governor’s reopening plan. Cedar Mill and Bethany are still devising plans for limited in-library use, but rollout will only happen if it can be done safely without endangering users or staff.

We will not be opening our bookdrops at this time. All items are checked out through the end of July and we encourage our users to continue caring for library materials at home. All materials that are returned must be quarantined for 72 hours, so slowing the pace of returns will keep the system from breaking. With 80,000 items currently in our users’ homes, accepting returns over a longer period of time is manageable. If they all arrive in a few days we simply do not have enough storage capacity to hold them for quarantine. This quantity of books would require 1.4 miles of shelving to hold them! We know many items will be returned, but keeping them a bit longer will help.

Thanks for your patience as we restore services. We miss you and look forward to seeing you again (with masks, outside and at a distance).

Please bookmark this page and check back for updates, sign up for our weekly e-news or follow us on social media to learn when services will be available and how to access them.

Message  from Peter Leonard, Executive Director, Updated June 1, 2020

Dear Friends, we know that you are eager to come back to your libraries. We are just as eager to welcome you back—with your health and safety in mind.

We are beginning the process of planning to offer services at graduated levels.

As we progress through the phases of reopening, we will provide you with updates including details and instructions for accessing services. These updates will be posted on our website, included in our weekly e-news and posted on social media.

Beginning June 1st, we will work to reintroduce staff to the libraries by:

  • Creating schedules and workspaces that limit physical interaction between staff.
  • Instituting new safety protocols and incorporating safety equipment.
  • Developing the next phase—distributing materials held since March, in a contactless manner to ensure safety of users, volunteers and employees.

Thank you for your patience as we work through the process of adding more services like returns and holds.  We want to be mindful of capacity and safety.

Please bookmark this page and check back for updates, sign up for our weekly e-news or follow us on social media to learn when services will be available and how to access them.

Message  from Peter Leonard, Executive Director, updated May 21, 2020

Your libraries have been delivering a large array of virtual programs and services during the pandemic. We are also planning how to offer physical library services while insuring the safety of patrons, volunteers and employees. Cedar Mill & Bethany, along with other WCCLS libraries, are looking at a phased reopening guided by health authorities. Each library is tailoring their plan to individual community needs and library capacities.

One of our first priorities over the next few months is to get library materials into your hands, followed by accepting returns. Some libraries throughout the country have tested contactless, curbside pickup. We are closely following their efforts and systematically preparing to adopt the best practices.

We will begin with the backlog of holds and items on order after bringing in new safety supplies and structuring staffing levels, schedules, and teams to prepare the libraries for contactless pickup. Receiving and quarantining returned items will follow. Currently there are more than 80,000 items checked out at Cedar Mill & Bethany Libraries. More than 30% of items in circulation come from other WCCLS libraries. To accept returns, our daily inter-library courier system must be reactivated. We are monitoring scientific tests being performed on library materials by the Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project to determine the safest way to handle returned items.

So many in-library services such as storytimes, programs, browsing and computer use are high touch, large group activities. We will not be scheduling any in-library programs this summer and won’t resume until we have a clear and safe path forward. When the libraries are opened to the public, it will be in the safest capacity possible. Until then, we appreciate your patience as we work to create the libraries of the future—a future in which we are all safe and healthy.  — Peter

Library Service Updates FAQ

If an item is still on your account a week after its return, please contact library staff to inquire about its status.

Yes, for faster service, account fees can be paid online at wccls.org or you are always welcome to get assistance during your next visit. If you have questions about charges on your account, please contact usUpdated July 1, 2021

Yes! Volunteers help with every aspect of of our organization. We’re grateful for your support!

To learn how you can volunteer, visit our Volunteer Page for position descriptions and how to apply. Or, contact Volunteer Services Manager, Jennifer Imai, at (503) 644-0043 x111 or jeni@wccls.org.

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  Cedar Mill Library 503-644-0043
  Bethany Branch 503-617-7323 (READ)


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