Deschutes Public Library to begin next phase of reopening June 22

The Deschutes Public Library will open branches beginning next week with modified hours and some new rules for checking out materials.

In recent weeks, the library started its phased-in reopening by letting folks return overdue books and pick up books that were on hold.

On June 22nd, Phase 2 begins for the system and folks will be able to access the buildings to pick up and check out materials at self-serve kiosks.

Meeting and tutor rooms, public computers, and children’s early learning spaces will remain closed.

Programs, classes, and events (story times, computer labs, lectures, etc.), as well as the processing of library cards, will continue online only during this time.

“We are happy to provide a gradual reintroduction to the library as we enter Chapter 2 of our reopening plan,” said Library Operations Manager Holly McKinley.

Staff will wear maks and they will limit the number of people allowed in the buildings at any one time to facilitate safe social distancing.

Modified hours will remain in place. In Chapter 2 the hours are as follows:

· Downtown Bend Library, East Bend Library, Redmond Library

Monday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (special hours for ages 60+ and immunocompromised individuals, from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.); closed Sundays

· La Pine Library, Sisters Library, Sunriver Library

Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; closed Sundays, Mondays

McKinley said the next phase in the Library’s steps to reopening is Chapter 3, which will include increased access to buildings, resources and services.

Chapter 2, she said, is a transition stage that will help staff and customers become accustomed to new procedures as the library works toward the next chapter.

The date for Chapter 3 will be determined by the Library Director and Board in consultation with government and public health officials.

“As we take these incremental steps to reopening our buildings, our foremost goal is to keep staff and customers safe when working in and browsing the library,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “We are all eager to get back to some semblance of ‘normal,’ but our priority is to minimize risk at every step.”

Minimizing risk includes the following practices:

· Face Coverings. All Deschutes Public Library staff members are required to wear facemasks. Customers are encouraged but not required to wear facemasks as a courtesy to staff and other members of the public.

· Increased Cleanings. The Library’s janitorial service is working additional hours and paying particular attention to common surfaces such as handrails, doors, and handles. The Library also provides cleaning supplies for all workspaces and public service desk areas.

· Hand Washing. While public restrooms are closed during the initial phases of re-opening, outdoor hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer are available for Library customers. Staff have regular access to soap and warm water for hand washing. Gloves will be provided to staff for use during cleaning and disinfecting materials and workspaces.

· Physical Distancing. Customers will be guided to maintain a six-foot distance between staff and other customers. Physical distancing areas will be clearly marked in spaces where the public tends to gather (e.g., service desks, check-out kiosks).

Library customers with questions about the phases or their accounts can call or text their question to (541) 617-0776.

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