August 17, 2021: Director's Update and Frequently Asked Questions

A letter from our director

FVRLibraries is pleased to serve our communities and users despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak. We continue to follow the advice from the State Department of Health and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries for maintaining a safe environment for our patrons and staff. We appreciate your support of these efforts to help us put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MASKS REQUIRED AT ALL LOCATIONS

FVRL’s Board of Trustees made the decision to require masks for all visitors aged 5 and up starting on August 18. The Board took action at the August 16 Board meeting passing an addition to FVRL’s Rules of Conduct to include this provision. FVRL is taking this action in large part as a response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the contagious nature of the Delta variant of the virus. Our intent with this decision is to ensure the continued safety of our library users and staff.

This decision is based on the August 12, 2021 joint statement from local health officers as well as Washington State Secretary of Health’s order 20-03.3 recommending that businesses that serve youth, and those that are considered congregant settings, require masks, regardless of vaccination status, for indoor visitors.

While the mask requirement is in effect, food and drink are no longer allowed in our libraries.

OPEN HOURS

All FVRLibraries are open from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday. Some locations are open longer, depending on staffing and schedules. Check your local library’s schedule for a complete list of days and hours. Our libraries in La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland and the Yale Valley are now open on Saturdays.

Currently, we offer the following library services:

  • Browse for materials
  • Access a computer
  • Print and copy
  • Get reference and account assistance
  • Find Check Out Washington backpacks with Discover Passes
  • Borrow Chromebooks and hot spot kits
  • Use our curbside pickup for holds

LIBRARY PROGRAMS AND PUBLIC SPACES

Many of you love the programs our libraries offer for readers, early learners, gamers, crafters, and other interests. For now, we will continue to offer virtual programs through August while we plan our fall season. We have some challenges to overcome, including careful planning for children too young to get immunized against COVID-19. Stay tuned until then!

We are also working on getting our reservation software for meeting rooms reinstated so that you can place room reservations. Many of our meeting rooms have done double duty over the past year as storage and staff space and are still in use. Thank you for your patience as we transition back from pandemic standards for safety.

Our early learning areas will remain closed for now due to the challenges of providing a safe environment for unimmunized children in these areas.

TOUCHLESS SERVICES

Many of our users have let us know how much they have appreciated the convenience of curbside pickup for library holds. We will continue to offer curbside, although hours may vary at different locations based on staff availability.

You can also access our 24/7 digital library resources at fvrl.org to access the thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies, and much more online as well as download Experience Passes for free access to local attractions.

OTHER PRECAUTIONS

Hand sanitizer is available at all service desks and at the entrance to the library. Library seating will remain limited so that we can provide adequate space between users. All anticipated restrictions are subject to the direction and guidelines of the State of Washington and our local authorities.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at ask.fvrl.org or call us at 360-906-5000. We look forward to serving you at your local library!

-Amelia Shelley, Executive Director
August 17, 2021

Questions about FVRL’s coronavirus response

Is the library fully open again?

We have restored our full hours of operation and access for the public. We have also expanded hours in four locations from five to six days a week.

What can I do at the library?

Currently, our libraries offer unlimited browsing and computer access of up to one hour at all locations. Seating is still limited and we are not currently offering any in-person programming.

Who needs to wear a mask?

Everyone over the age of five is required to wear a mask. FVRL's Board of Trustees passed an Additional Rules of Conduct policy that requires all visitors to wear a mask while using the library. Masks are encouraged for children ages two to four with parental supervision. Masks are available upon request.

What if I don't want to wear a mask?

You are welcome to use our curbside service or our online, phone, and email services to meet your needs.

Why are services still limited?

We have made many changes over the past sixteen months and need a little time to restore some services. Programming for children is still under COVID-restrictions as that group cannot yet access vaccinations. Like other public institutions in the community, our top priority is keeping our staff and the public safe, and preventing the community spread of COVID-19.

Can I still use curbside service?

Yes! We encourage you to keep using curbside if it is working well for you. Some FVRL locations may begin to reduce the number of hours that curbside is available or may no longer offer it due to declining demand.

Can I use a meeting or study room?

New masking restrictions and an increase in COVID-19 cases may delay our ability to reopen access to meeting rooms as they may be needed to provide space for staff activities.

When will more computers be available?

For now, we are limiting the length of time users are allowed to access a computer to one hour to ensure everyone has access. Most locations offer Chromebooks that can be checked out for up to two hours for those needing more time. We are working with our staff to replace equipment and furnishings that were removed due to social distancing and cleaning requirements during earlier phases. This may take some time and we appreciate your patience.

Can I print?

Yes, library printers are available! FVRL has new printing rules that give library card holders $3.00 worth of free printing each week. That equals 30 pages of black and white copies or prints, or 6 pages of color printing each week.

How soon will you offer storytimes?

Because children under 12 have not been able to be vaccinated, and no specific guidance for in-library children’s programming has been issued by the state, we are not sure how soon we will resume storytimes.

When will you offer in-person programs?

FVRL will continue to offer virtual programs until we feel confident we can provide a safe experience for patrons and staff. We are determining the appropriate mix of in-person/virtual/hybrid programming for the future.

Is there a risk that library materials carry COVID-19?

No, the Center for Disease Control and the Washington Department of Health have determined that library materials do not spread COVID-19 between users. We are no longer quarantining items before checking in, shelving, or fulfilling holds.

Can I return my books?

You can return your books to any library book return.

Is your Wi-Fi available?

Yes, Wi-Fi is available 24/7 at all FVRL locations. We also have a limited supply of Wi-Fi hotspots available to check out. For a full list of local Wi-Fi locations, see the Washington Wi-Fi map.

Can I get help with a question or using my eDevice?

Yes, our staff is available in person, by phone, and online to assist you with questions about library resources or to help you access our downloadable content.

When will the library board start meeting in person?

Public meetings are still under the Governor’s order 20-05 and 20-28 with the option of being held remotely. FVRL is still determining when they will return to in-person meetings. Information about library board meetings is available on the Board of Trustees page. Public comments can be submitted in writing at trustees@fvrl.org.