June 15, 2020

Dear Community,

The month of June always holds a special place in my heart. As a librarian, June means one thing: summer reading is upon us. When we kick off our summer programs, it means several months’ worth of planning finally come to fruition. Our efforts culminate in the best kind of rewards: happy smiles, excited families, free books in our patron’s hands, laughter in the air and singing in the park.  How could June not be my favorite month?

We normally start planning summer reading in the fall and winter. Two months ago in April, we realized that our plans needed to be set aside for another day. Not for a single second did we consider NOT having a summer reading program – even in the middle of a pandemic. I am so proud of our library staff for embracing the challenge of rethinking summer reading in under two months. I hope the same results of smiles, laughter, singing and excitement can happen in your home this summer! We remain ever thankful for the Friends of the Library and their sponsorship of our summer reading programs.

We would love nothing more than to reopen our doors and welcome all of you back in our building. However, we still have a lot of work in front of us before we can do that. While we spend time every day working on reopening plans, it will take us time before we can reopen our doors. We are focused on a gradual reopening in Phase Two – meaning restoring services one at a time, learning and adjusting before moving on to the next step so we can ensure your safety. We do not have exact dates at this time, but we will keep you updated as we work through these plans. Our first priority is to restore computer access to our communities and we hope to launch that service in the very near future.

In the meantime, I hope you are taking advantage of our delivery services and digital offerings. As of June 1, we have made over 4,500 deliveries and in May, we processed almost 22,000 holds. We continue to see our numbers climb higher each week. I never thought we would be able to keep up with the community demand for deliveries, but we like a good challenge and remain dedicated to serving all of you.

I would love your feedback about what services you need most from the library during this time. In this newsletter, you will find a very short survey that will help us build our reopening plans and prioritize what to reopen first – so please take a moment to fill it out. Thank you for your support and patience as we work through these challenging times.

Best,

Ashlee Chavez

Director, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library