Multnomah County Library announced today that they will begin no-contact, appointment-only pickup of reserved materials starting on June 8.
The rollout for this new service will start with just four library branches—Central, Gresham, Midland, and North Portland—before expanding out to other locations through the month. Also, on June 8, all Multnomah County Library branches will open up their book drops for the return of borrowed materials. All items will be quarantined for 72 hours.
Patrons will have to call and make an appointment and then stop by their chosen branch to pick them up. After giving their name to library staff, they will be asked to give the employee distance until the books are brought out and left for them on the pickup table. Full instructions on how to use the pickup system can be found here.
Sidewalk pickup for books will expand to eight other Multnomah County branches (Belmont, Capitol Hill, Gregory Heights, Holgate, Hollywood, Kenton, Rockwood, and St. Johns) starting on June 15, with more locations joining in a week later.
While the physical branches for the libraries won't be open during this time, Library Director Vailey Oehlke hopes they'll be able to open up some branches for time-limited computer service for patrons to use for job applications, filing for unemployment, and other benefit application assistance. That, however, won't be possible until Multnomah County enters Phase 1 of the state's reopening plan. As our Alex Zielinski reported, that could happen as soon as June 12.
“We are grateful and excited to begin the process of resuming some physical library services," Oehlke said in the news release. "Having libraries closed due to COVID-19 has been wrenching for our community and it requires that we fundamentally rethink the work we do, guided by a set of priorities that sharpens our focus on community recovery."