September 2020

Dear Community,

As we move into September, we are approaching the changing of seasons. With the arrival of fall, we know the sunny days we enjoy will be fewer than we like. Now that we have both walk-up service and delivery service options for you to choose from, you may find that your needs change as we transition into fall. We hear many questions about these services. I am answering some common questions we hear that might help you decide what service best meets your needs!

Can I do both walk-up service and delivery?

OCTOBER UPDATE: Yes, you may now utilize either service, or both.

What are the main differences between the two?

The main difference is immediacy. If you use walk-up service, you know you will be leaving with items right then and there! With delivery service, you may have to wait up to a week, but you have the added benefit of not leaving your home. In addition, you do not need to be home to receive a delivery!

Please note you might need to wait in line for service, especially at the beginning of each walk-up session on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  As the weather changes, we understand your needs might change too. Waiting in line in the summer is different from waiting in line in the winter!

We do not yet have either of these new service models perfected and are still planning to make improvements to improve efficiency. We are trying our best to balance service, safety and equity. Thank you for your patience and kindness as we work through it all.

I do not want to use delivery because it seems expensive. Is delivery cost-prohibitive?  

Great news: delivery does not cost more! I know it might seem this way, but here are a few things to consider. Most of our expenses at the library are personnel and materials. Delivery is a lot of work for our staff, but since we are not staffing service points inside of our buildings in the same capacity as we used to, this is simply a shift in how we schedule our staff. It is true that there are new expenses related to delivery such as fuel and routing software that we would not normally have. However, there are other expenses where we are saving money like water consumption and programming supplies.

That’s all great, but I miss browsing the stacks. When are you going to open up the library buildings for browsing?

Not anytime soon, unless we start to see new guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Most libraries are not open for browsing at this time. Some of the factors we take into consideration when making this decision:

  • protecting the safety of our collection
  • the number of patrons we can serve due to building occupancy limits
  • keeping staff physically distant while having enough people in the building to monitor safety requirements
  • patron request for delivery services
  • and much more!

We believe with our current balance of services, we are offering as much as we can, serving as many as we can, as safely as we can. There is nothing we miss more than seeing you walk through our doors and then come out with a stack of items. As soon as we think we can offer that service and balance all of the competing needs, we will do that.

I am always happy to talk to our community, understand your needs and hear your feedback. Please reach out if you’d like to share your feedback with me.