This situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to respond to updated guidance from public health authorities. WCCLS will continue to post updates at wccls.org/covid-19.
March 14, 2020
Each of our libraries is currently evaluating how to respond to COVID-19 and determining the best course of action when it comes to ensuring public safety and serving their community. At this time, many WCCLS libraries have made the difficult decision to close to the public. The most current information on closures will be posted on this page.
Through the events of the past week, it has been incredibly heartening to witness the strong support of our community, and we are proud of how positive and hardworking library staff have been through it all.
WCCLS libraries want to ensure that even if you cannot physically visit a library, you will have as much access as possible to our services during and after COVID-19. Here is how libraries will continue to serve you:
Borrowing & account extensions
- Nothing that you have checked out will accrue fines while libraries are closed.
- Any requested items held at a closed library will remain on hold for you until the library re-opens.
- Library card accounts that were due to expire will be extended through April 30.
- You can borrow ebooks & audiobooks, and WCCLS will increase purchases for this collection to keep up with demand.
- You can stream movies, TV shows, and the Great Courses through Kanopy. Parents and children can also enjoy thousands of episodes of high-quality kids content through Kanopy Kids.
- You can learn a new language with Mango Languages or learn professional skills with Lynda Library.
- You can build your resume and get career help with LearningExpress Library and BrainFuse JobNow.
- Students can keep their academic skills fresh by getting live homework help and tutoring through BrainFuse HelpNow.
In those libraries that are closed, library staff will continue to work hard behind the scenes on cleaning, organizing, and tackling special projects so that each location will be ready to greet their communities when buildings reopen.
As Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington shared in a recent COVID-19 public service announcement, “We're all in this together. Thank you for sharing facts and not spreading fear.”
March 13, 2020
Effective immediately, WCCLS is suspending the Cultural Pass program due to health concerns around COVID-19. This suspension will last for four weeks, at which time we will reevaluate.
Current reservations have been cancelled, and we have contacted each patron who had a reservation in this time period.
March 12, 2020
We are actively monitoring information and advice from state and county public health officials about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a library cooperative, we are working closely with our member libraries to respond as needed to this developing situation. We are following the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority, Tri-County Health Officers (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, all WCCLS libraries remain open for regular business hours and are taking the following precautions:
- Wiping down high-touch surfaces in public areas at least twice a day
- Making hand sanitizer and wipes available to the public when possible
- Spacing public seating six feet apart (when possible) to follow social distancing guidelines
- Removing soft toys and other hard-to-clean items from children’s areas
- Cancelling programs targeted to adults ages 60+
- Cancelling programs with expected attendance over 250
Based on directives from Governor Kate Brown to cancel gatherings with over 250 attendees, WCCLS and its libraries will be cancelling the Art of the Story Festival, which was scheduled to happen in April. Libraries continue to host other events, but this could change at any time as the situation develops. Please contact your local library with any questions about their programs.
WCCLS and its libraries also ask those in our communities to be mindful about visiting libraries and other public spaces if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. If you choose not to visit a library in person, you can contact your library online or by phone with any questions.
Thanks to our many digital services, your access to the library continues even if you cannot visit a physical library. With your library card, you can access the following digital services:
- ebooks & digital audiobooks with Overdrive
- streaming video with Kanopy
- language learning with Mango Languages
- online learning with Lynda Library
- live homework help and tutoring with BrainFuse HelpNow
If you live in Washington County and do not currently have a library card, you can apply for one online at wccls.org/online-card. WCCLS management is meeting with library directors next week to evaluate additional measures to enhance library services to meet the needs of those who cannot visit a library during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is important to note that libraries are open to everyone, and we are proud to be the heart of our communities. We take our role as a gathering place seriously and want to balance our responsibility to keep our patrons safe while also continuing to provide important services to those who rely on us. To curtail open hours or close libraries in advance of guidance from health authorities could have negative effects on our communities. Closing libraries would be a measure of last resort and a decision made locally by each library, based on available staffing and guidance from health authorities.
WCCLS and its libraries strive to be inclusive, welcoming places, and we ask you to remember that stigma, bias, and rumors do not help in the fight to contain this disease. COVID-19 is not connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. During this time, it is critically important that we only share information from trusted sources.
Member Library Updates
Updated March 17, 2020 at 10:25am
As of March 18, all WCCLS member libraries are closed due to COVID-19. Do not return materials to the libraries; you will not be charged for materials out during this time.