Sno-Isle Libraries said it is gradually reopning community libraries to its customers, with Grab ‘n’ Go service being offered this week at the Brier and Lynnwood libraries.
“Library customers tell me every day they appreciate the adaptions we have made, but really need access to our in-building services,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed us to innovate our library services for customers – from online programming to laptop checkouts – we’ve been able to reimagine new ways to stay connected. Opening libraries for in-building services is the next step.”
Under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery, public libraries may offer in-building services while adhering to restrictions intended to address public safety concerns. Thompson said library staff have been planning and preparing community libraries to deliver in-building services that meet state guidelines and restrictions.
Under “Grab ‘n’ Go,” Sno-Isle Libraries‘ is adding services within state public safety guidelines. Customers can again browse library materials. However, the number of customers will be limited, they must wear face-coverings (including children over age 2) and limit their time in the building to 30 minutes.
Managing building capacity makes social distancing easier to maintain, high-touch surfaces are regularly wiped down, most furniture has been removed, air–handling systems have been improved, and more. The library district already quarantines returned materials for at least 24 hours per CDC guidelines.
Rebecca Loney, Director of Public Services, said Sno-Isle Libraries is taking a sequential approach to adding limited in-building services to community libraries. “We will also continue to offer our customers their choice of contact-free and online services and programs,” Loney said.
The libraries in Freeland, Darrington and Camano Island opened their doors last week. In addition to Brier and Lynnwood, libraries in Coupeville and Snohomish began offering Grab ‘n’ Go service and the Marysville Library is providing a meeting room for computer access.
Each Sno-Isle Libraries building is as unique as the community it serves and not all libraries will have the same in-building services available. There is no date yet for when the Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace libraries will reopen.
“We’re continuing to work on plans to safely reopen the Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace libraries to in-person services, but we do not yet have a date scheduled for either one,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Specialist Kurt Batdorf. “In order to reopen, each library must be able to continue providing contact-free service in addition to resuming in-person service. Because all 23 of our library buildings are different, each one requires a different plan that will allow us to meet those service goals while following state and federal health guidelines to protect the safety of our customers and employees.”
All 23 Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries offer contact-free services including pickup of materials, printing, laptop and Wi-Fi checkouts and more. Online services and resources are available 24-7 through the recently redesigned website, www.sno-isle.org.