Sno-Isle Libraries adapting as state’s pandemic safety rules ease

Throughout the pandemic, Sno-Isle Libraries staff have been working on ways to bring more services to customers with contact-free delivery options, online programs and events, and the gradual reintroduction of in-building services.

In many cases, Sno-Isle Libraries librarians and facilities staff had to rethink and reimagine how to use the spaces inside each community library to provide adequate social distancing so customers could safely browse shelves, use public computers and printers, and ask staff for help.

Sno-Isle Libraries says it now offers in-building services at 20 of its 23 community libraries and it’s a work in progress.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement on May 13 that he expected to lift most pandemic restrictions by the end of June means more changes are in store for Sno-Isle Libraries customers.

“We’re anticipating a significant lifting of restrictions by June 30,” Sno-Isle Libraries District Manager Judy Sasges said.

Until then, and as state and federal guidance evolve, Sno-Isle Libraries continues to adapt its policies and procedures.

  • Sno-Isle Libraries is adjusting in-building occupancy numbers at each community library.
  • The 30-minute time limit for customers browsing inside libraries was lifted on June 2.
  • All public computers and laptops now have a 60-minute session limit, with unlimited 30-minute time extensions as long as there are no customers waiting.
  • Laptops will be cleaned and sanitized between customer use, but no longer quarantined.
  • Books and other physical materials will be cleaned as needed, but no longer quarantined before being placed back into circulation.
  • And some community libraries will start carrying local newspapers again.

One thing that won’t change right away is the requirement for a face mask and for customers inside each community library to continue promoting public health and safety. Sno-Isle Libraries staff anticipate that mask rules are likely to change and are exploring ways to accommodate those future guidelines.

All Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries plan to continue to offer contact-free services, even after all pandemic restrictions are lifted.

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