By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
As Central Oregonians themselves slowly get back into circulation, it’s time for a few thousand overdue library books to do the same.
80,000 books to be more precise.
That’s how many are checked out from Deschutes Public Library and need to be returned. And Tuesday was the first day to do so.
There were plenty who returned up to ten books at the library’s Downtown Bend location, but some dropped off far more.
Bend resident Julia Cardwell says, “We probably dropped off close to 70.”
Operations Manager Holly McKinley says she expects to get at least a third of the books back on day one alone.
“We have a setup outside so people can bring things back,” McKinley said. “They don’t have to have contact, they can just drop it in the bin.”
In all, more than 10,000 books came back on Tuesday.
Many readers were impressed by how smooth the process was.
Helen Lewis returned eight books today. She raved, “I thought it was great. Yeah made good sense, and makes sense to get the library back, cleaned up before everybody comes back to the library.”
Kay DuBois dropped off her collection by bike. “I figured there was going to be lots of people and there’s not hardly anybody here,” DuBois said. “So they’ve got it very well organized, so I’m glad that they can do that and we can start having life go back to normal.”
McKinley says this is just “chapter one” of the library getting back to business as usual.
“Basically if they have a hold in the library, they can pick those up starting next week.” McKinley said. “And then the week after, they can start putting holds back on themselves for new items.”
Locals have had to put their time in the library “on hold” for awhile, and they’re ready to get back and find something new.
DuBois says, “Two months closed was kind of a long time, and so for book clubs and stuff it’s really fun to be able to go in and get whatever you want.”
Once books are returned, they are quarantined in the library for 72 hours before getting put back on the shelf.
The next drop-off period is this Saturday from 12-6PM at all Deschutes Public Library locations.