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