Reopening Update

Though it may be weeks before the public is granted free access to the interior of the building, library administrators said services are slated to resume in limited ways beginning on Friday May 22 at the Clatskanie Library on Lillich Street.

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The Clatskanie Public Library will restart limited services on Friday, May 22.

The Chief has received the following details from the library administrators.

In late February, while the Clatskanie Library staff paid attention to the arrival of the first Covid-19 cases in the United States, they began to take additional steps inside the building to ensure the safety of patrons and sanitation of materials.

By March 13, as cleaning and disinfecting products began to disappear from shelves and supply chains, the American Library Association was recommending that most libraries, which are not inherently set up for social distancing and present the unique challenge of sanitizing many shared resources, close their doors to the public.

On March 19, the Clatskanie Library Board of Directors held an emergency meeting at which it was decided the Library would close to the public, two part time staff would be placed on paid leave, and two staff (the Director and one clerk) would continue to work inside the building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily, to answer phones, facilitate electronic services, receive check-ins and work on other administrative tasks.

When the Governor of Oregon issued her “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order on March 23, sanitation supplies were fast dwindling and the book drop was closed completely.

While the library has been quieter than normal even by most library standards, a lot has been going on inside the building! Director Elizabeth Kruse and clerk Becky White have been hard at work facilitating online services, hosting online Story Times, planning budgets, writing grants, expanding Wi-Fi access outside the building, hosting Zoom book club meetings for Youth Book Club members, the Board of Directors and Budget Committee, planning the transition to a virtual format for the Summer Reading Program, upgrading the ventilation system

and yes- gathering supplies and drafting a plan for a phased re-opening. The plan will emphasize creative ways to offer all of the traditional services, even if they are sometimes in non-traditional ways. All phases will follow guidelines provided by state and national health authorities and library organizations and will prioritize the safety of staff, patrons and the community.

Though it may be weeks before the public is granted free access to the interior of the building, library services are slated to resume in limited ways beginning on Friday May 22. The very first step is to open the book drop and begin to receive back the materials that patrons have been keeping safe at home. Beginning May 22, the book drop will be open from 12 p.m.-10 a.m. daily and all materials will be checked in free of fines. Staff will follow a special process that includes sanitizing and briefly quarantining materials to ensure that they can be re-circulated safely.

Part time staff will return to the building on Tuesday, May 26 and if all goes well, Library patrons will be able to check out up to two items per week by placing holds and picking up outside the building by the following week.

Specific details about the multiple ways to do that will be released on May 28.

In the meantime, free public Wi-Fi continues to be accessible outside the building 24 hours a day, and staff is available to help with online services or answer questions at (503) 728-3732, or by contacting ekruse@clatskanielibrary.org or sending a message to their Facebook page.

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