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Libraries Reopening with Modifications, 5/16/2020

Beginning Monday, May 18, 2020, Lake County Library District facilities will reopen with modifications to meet the Reopening Oregon Phase I requirements. In order to accommodate the increased cleaning requirements, library hours have been modified. Many procedures have been changed so that library patrons and staff can stay 6 feet from other people while in the library. When patrons arrive at the libraries, they may encounter a locked door and need to knock for access.  

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Library board members approved reopening the libraries at the Restricted Access service level at their special meeting Thursday, May 14, 2020. In addition to entering library buildings, the public may continue to use Library Take Out service if they feel more comfortable in doing so. Library Take Out may be picked up during all library modified open hours. 
Modified library hours are as follows. Main Library is open Tuesdays – Fridays 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturdays are Library Take Out only (no public hours) from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Christmas Valley Branch is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturdays 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Paisley Branch is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Silver Lake Branch is open Mondays from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM.  
To protect library staff from infection, patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when visiting Lake County Libraries. “About 80% of our library staff are potentially vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19,” said Library Director Amy Hutchinson. “We feel we can reopen safely at the moment due to the lack of cases in Lake County. However, we still need to protect our staff from becoming infected when coronavirus does arrive in Lake County. For that reason, we ask that library patrons where a mask.”  
In addition to protecting library staff health, wearing a mask also protects library service. If one staff member at a library facility tests positive for COVID-19, most likely that library will have to be closed for at least 2 weeks while ill staff recover and other staff quarantine.  
Lake County Public Health was instrumental in helping the libraries prepare to reopen. Not only did they provide cloth face masks for staff and patrons, they also helped the library to locate sufficient hand sanitizer and sources for gloves so that library staff can meet cleaning and disinfection requirements.  
Questions about Restricted Access library service or the library in general may be directed to Amy Hutchinson, Library Director at 541-947-6019 or More details about the service and about using library computers are posted in the Frequently Asked Questions below.
EDITED 5/22/2020 to reflect Main Library Lakeview new opening time of 11:00 AM instead of 11:30 AM

Restricted Access Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you asking me to wear a mask?
Cloth masks do a good job of containing respiratory droplets when you speak or breathe and reducing how far they spread. (Click here to see a great video showing respiratory droplets with and without a mask.)  Since you can spread the infection before you have any symptoms and the virus is know to be spread via respiratory droplets, wearing a mask at your library protects others, especially library staff. Over 80% of staff are potentially vulnerable to serious or life-threatening outcomes if infected with this coronavirus. Additionally, wearing masks in the library protects library service. If a staff member is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19, that library facility will likely have to be closed for at least 2 weeks while staff are quarantined or recover. Click here to read more about why masks are recommended and how they may impact transmission rates. 
Can I still use a library computer?
Public computers are still available at all library locations, but many procedures for using them have changed. To comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirements, computers have been rearranged, and some computers are not in service. You are encouraged to call your local library to make a computer reservation before coming to the library. When you arrive at the library, you will need to check in with library staff so that you can complete a computer use form and staff can ensure the computer area is disinfected before you begin. Sessions are 45 minutes in length, but may be extended by staff based on overall computer availability for high-priority items such as applying for employment or benefits, conducting personal business such as real estate transactions or insurance purchases, etc. 
Can I use the library WiFi?
WiFi access is still available at all library locations. In order to both meet Oregon Health Authority guidelines and ensure library spaces are available for as many patrons as possible, you may be asked to limit your use of a table or chair inside the library. The WiFi signal does reach outside our library buildings, and you are welcome to also use the WiFi outside. Remember to station yourself at least 6-feet apart from non-household members, or with a barrier, such as inside a car with windows rolled up.
What about printing or copies?
Printing and copies are both available either inside the library or via Library Take Out. Please ask library staff for assistance before using the printer or copier so we can make sure to follow disinfection protocols. 
Why have library hours changed? 
Oregon Health Authority guidelines call for more frequent cleaning of common surfaces. Library staff need extra time daily to ensure they can meet those guidelines before the public arrives.
Do I have to come inside to check out books or videos?
No. Library Take Out is still available. You can place holds online or via telephone and pick up your holds outside your local library. Pick up is available during all Restricted Access public hours. 
Can I catch COVID-19 from library materials?
Our current understanding is that the virus is viable, meaning it can infect others, for about 24 hours on cardboard and about 72 hours on plastic. All incoming library materials have their covers lightly cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant, and then they are quarantined for 3 days before being returned to library shelves. If you have concerns, you could also quarantine library materials at home for an additional time period before enjoying them. Click here to check out a great article from USA Today about how long the virus lasts.