PIERCE COUNTY, Washington – Welcome back to some Pierce County Library System services. Staff is eager to serve Pierce County residents with limited services from the library buildings, while the buildings remain closed to the public to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic 2019 (COVID-19).
Book drops are now open at eight of the Library System’s 20 libraries: Fife, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Parkland/Spanaway, South Hill, Summit, Sumner and University Place Pierce County Libraries. In the coming weeks, the Library will open book drops at its other locations. The Library thanks people for holding onto library books, movies and other items for the past several months.
Also, given the ongoing economic burden brought on by the pandemic as well as the overall disruption to library services, the Library System will not assess fines for overdue books and materials for the remainder of 2020.
Now free Wi-Fi service is available for use outside of all of the library buildings in parking lots, with a continued emphasis on social distancing.
Staff is also making plans to offer curbside service for people to pick up books, movies and other materials, as well as copies of prints people may send remotely to printers in the libraries this summer.
For now, staff will be checking in safely the thousands of books and movies people will return to the libraries. At the same time, staff is processing thousands of new books that will be ready for readers.
Librarians and other staff are preparing the library buildings to offer more learning and enjoyment services for Pierce County communities. The Library is reimaging services for the public and starting with limited services, as it readies its operations and offerings to bring more services safely in the coming weeks and months.
The buildings will ensure social distancing for the safety of the public and staff. The safety measures the Library is taking will allow people to use and enjoy libraries with spacing between public computers, queuing areas for checking out books and materials, and other actions to help keep the public and staff safe.
Pierce County Library encourages people to continue checking out e-books, audiobooks and magazines online. It also recommends people check out many research and enjoyable online resources. From resources to help people learn new languages to finding out the price of the antiques and other stuff they are discovering as they have been cleaning out their closets and attics during the state’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
In June, the Library launched its Virtual Library with online classes and events for people of all ages. Using platforms such as Facebook Groups, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, the virtual library features story times for young learners and their parents, STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – events for school-age children, and book discussions and other events for adults.
While working remotely, staff produced videos from home to bring a variety of services directly to people’s computers, phones and mobile devices. From early learning story times and school-age science experiments to crafts and a variety of other topics, the videos support learning and bring enjoyment.
Also, in the coming days the Library System will launch its Summer Reading program for people of all ages. For the most part, the Summer Reading program will be an online program with activities and live events.
The Pierce County Library is committed to safe and welcoming libraries for the public’s use and a safe work place for staff, and it will offer further services in the coming weeks and months.