Coronavirus response

A message from our Executive Director

(Updated: May 26, 2020)

Out of print

It is hard for me to believe that it's been over two months since Fort Vancouver Regional Library District closed our buildings in response to the Shelter in Place order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our state. Of course, our virtual library has been open for business throughout this time and the use of our digital resources is at an all time high. Many people have shared with me how thankful they are that the library continues to support them, even in times of crisis. I remind them that it is thanks to their support that we have such wonderful libraries in southwest Washington.

Turning the page

Currently, libraries are included in Phase 3 of Safe Start Washington, predicted to start some time in late June for Clark, Cowlitz, and Klickitat Counties. Service in Skamania County may be allowed to start sooner, based on the direction we are given by the local authorities. It is not yet clear how quickly we may be allowed to reopen or what services we can offer, but we are doing our best to consider all of our options to provide safe spaces for the public and our staff, while restoring the services you depend on.

As we work toward reopening our libraries, we continue to closely track the latest Center for Disease Control guidance on the handling of materials, practices for adequate social distancing, and the best tools to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are analyzing the state’s safety guidance to other businesses that are reopening and interpreting them for our workplaces. We are also talking to libraries in Washington and across the nation to learn what we can from their experience as they navigate these same challenges.

So far, the results of our research lead us to believe that library services may be limited and look very different from what you are used to for a while. Our goal is to determine the best practices and then follow them closely to ensure that we can provide exceptional service to our communities safely and sustainably. We are doing our best to predict the types of activities that will be allowed, as well as the tools and safeguards that must be in place, to keep everyone safe and well.

Here to help

We have reinstated our telephone information line at 360-906-5000, or toll-free at 888-546-2707, seven days a week from noon to 5 pm. You can call this number for assistance with your library account or to get answers about other services or resources. For those with internet connectivity, you can get assistance online by clicking the green Contact Us button on our website.

Our library staff is working hard to create virtual programming opportunities for you as well as other passive activities to help you pass the time. This includes storytimes and STEM activities for kids, book discussions for adults and gaming for teens, giving you safe options for education and entertainment from home. Check our events calendar to see what’s happening each week.

We are currently keeping all holds in place and will notify you when we can fill your requests. One of our first priorities will be to get those items you’ve been patiently waiting for into your hands. Please don’t worry about returning any items you have currently checked out. We have extended all due dates and as always, we do not charge overdue fines.

We miss serving you in person and look forward to a time when we can do so again. In the meantime, and despite the closure, we hope you can find your place through the many resources we have available on our website through the links below.

Stay healthy. Keep reading. Hope to see you soon.

Amelia Shelley
Executive Director