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Director message, 6/12/2020

Library reopens, grace period for late materials in effect until July 6

**Library Tentatively Scheduling Limited Reopening on June 15**

Pending the developing COVID-19 situation and directives from state and local public health officials, the Baker County Public Library tentatively plans to reopen the building to the public in a limited fashion with no advance appointment required beginning Monday, June 15. Public computers, WiFi, and printing/scanning/faxing will be available, as well as short-term browsing of the collections and opportunities to seek assistance from library staff.

During the library’s initial reopening phase, a limited number of public computers are available.  The total number of people in the building will be limited to 30. At the front entrance, newly installed monitors are displaying a live count of current building occupancy and whether persons can enter. Inside the library, additional signage is posted to indicate the capacity for each room space. The library will be open its regular hours on Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The library’s Drive-Up Window off of Madison Street will continue to be available for hold pickup. 

For everyone’s safety, the library has a few extra items of note for people who want to use the facility:

Follow health guidelines

Library users are asked to please abide by public health guidelines. Stay home if you’re sick, use face coverings, and wash your hands regularly. More information from the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN) will be available at the library. Hand sanitizer will be available at the sanitization station near the entrance. The library is not collecting visitor information for contact tracing.

Library staff will be wearing face coverings and face shields at points of service. Since some library staff and many visitors are in the high-risk danger category for COVID-19 severity, the library greatly appreciates those who show the courtesy of care for the health of others by wearing a face mask. Library access and service will not be denied to those who are unable to wear face coverings or choose not to.

Do distance and don’t hang out. Visit briefly with a task purpose.

Several changes have been made to the building in order to encourage 6-foot physical distancing. Most of the lounge seating and computer workstations in the building will continue to be closed, and the number of people in the main part of the library will be limited to 30.  Visitors in groups should be from the same household. Hand washing is strongly encouraged before and after handling any library materials to avoid transmitting the virus, especially materials that cannot be effectively sanitized without quarantine such as newspapers and magazines.

No food

No food will be allowed to be consumed in the building. Drinks in closed or lidded containers are still welcomed.

Limited computer use

Due to demand and limited devices, computer use will be limited to 60 minutes a day initially. Sets of keyboard, mouse and other peripheral devices will need to be checked out from the service desk prior to use and returned when the session is finished so everything can be sanitized. There will be a dedicated computer to apply for government benefits (e.g. unemployment) and complete the Census.

Limited room use

The Riverside Meeting Room will be available during library open hours only for groups up to 10. Compliance with physical distancing guidance is required. Study Rooms are available during library open hours for up to two people at once, provided that public health guidelines are followed. Room reservations can be placed through the online booking tools on the library website homepage

Amnesty period for returning items

The library invites anyone with items checked out over a month ago to return them before the Independence Day holiday weekend. Overdue fees will be waived during the amnesty returns period in effect until July 6. After that date, late fees will begin to accrue again.

All returned items are quarantined for 7 days before getting checked in. This allows ample time for any existing virus hazard on the inside of an item to fade out.

Questions may be directed to the library at 541-523-6419 or


Perry Stokes | Library Director
Baker County Library District