Coronavirus: A Message to MCL Customers

March 18, 2020

UPDATE: 

Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) is closed through April 24. MCL wants to ensure that even if customers cannot physically visit a library, they will have as much access as possible to library services during and after the COVID-19 closure. Here are some of the ways the library continues to serve customers:

Borrowing and Account Extensions

Due dates on physical materials have been extended to April 27, 2020. Customers will not be charged fees for lost items before that date. Drop boxes and drive-up returns are closed; customers are strongly encouraged not to leave materials in branch drop boxes. 

Any requested items held/unclaimed will remain on hold through April 27, 2020.

All recently expired and soon to expire library cards have been extended to May 1, 2020. 

Digital Services and Collections

Customers can borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and more at midcolumbialibraries.org/ebooks. MCL has increased purchases for this collection to keep up with demand, including adding more than 4,000 always available titles.

Cardholders can stream movies, TV shows, world cinema, the Great Courses, and much more through Kanopy. MCL will temporarily increase the credit limit in Kanopy from five to 10 per month for the duration of the closure period. Parents and children can also enjoy unlimited access to high-quality kids content through Kanopy Kids.

For the next 30 days, there are a variety of streaming films available that do not require play credits to watch; a full list of these credit-free viewing titles can be found at Kanopy.

For more information about getting started in Kanopy, visit midcolumbialibraries.org/streaming-video.

Digital Resources for Students and Families

MCL has compiled a list of online resources to support families with children home from school. These include the children's digital collection, resources in Spanish, world learning databases, and much more. More information is available at midcolumbialibraries.org/family-resources.

March 16, 2020

UPDATE:

Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) will close our 12 branches and Bookmobile from March 17 until April 24 to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Branches are operating normal hours through the end of today, March 16, 2020, offering limited services.

During the closure, library customers should keep books and materials currently checked out until MCL reopens or until further notice. All due dates on physical materials will be automatically extended until April 27. We strongly encourage customers to not return items during the closure.

All drive-up services including curbside pickup, drive-up returns boxes, and the drive-through window will be closed. Our phone service will also be suspended.

“We take the health of our community and our staff seriously. We understand it can be a hardship, especially for families with children. We are preparing digital educational resources for parents,” said Kyle Cox, executive director and chief librarian. “I encourage all those who can to access our digital collection of more than 100,000 eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming video.”

All library programs and events are cancelled until further notice; all meeting room bookings are cancelled.

The health and safety of Mid-Columbia Libraries customers and staff is of highest priority. Customers can check the library website, midcolumbialibraries.org, and Facebook page for updates.

March 13, 2020

UPDATE:

Beginning Monday, March 16, Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) will offer limited library services in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

MCL’s 12 branches will be open regular hours but will offer transaction-related services only. Customers may pick up books and materials on hold, return items, or quickly browse and check out items. To encourage social distancing, prolonged use of the library beyond these functions will be prohibited.

“We take the health of our community and our staff seriously. Our hope is that by limiting access, we can continue to serve our communities consistent with public health guidelines and directives,” said Kyle Cox, executive director and chief librarian. “I encourage all those who can to access our digital collection of more than 100,000 eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming video. The library is a great way to engage your mind during this turbulent time.”

Also starting Monday, all library programs and events will be cancelled until further notice; all meeting room bookings will be cancelled; and public computers will not be available for use.

The health and safety of Mid-Columbia Libraries customers and staff is of highest priority. Customers can check the library website, midcolumbialibraries.org, and Facebook page for updates.

March 10, 2020

Dear Mid-Columbia Libraries Customers,

The health and safety of our library community is our highest priority. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to have an increased impact on our communities, I want to share some of the actions Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) is taking to keep both you and our employees healthy. As this situation continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring announcements from local public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will continue to rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.

We have received word from Cavalcade of Authors that our events with Chris Tebbetts, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and Marissa Meyer, which were scheduled for March 18-19, have been cancelled.

While all of our 12 community libraries are currently open and operating on normal schedules, we are taking steps to make sure you feel safe, comfortable, and welcome.

  • Every branch has restrooms with water and soap for hand washing. We recommend that customers wash or sanitize their hands before using public computers, check-out kiosks or restrooms, as well as before handling materials and other public surfaces such as door knobs. We also recommend that people wash or sanitize their hands again after all such interactions.
  • We are taking measures to ensure our spaces are cleaned thoroughly every day by both staff and regular janitorial services. Our staff routinely clean work surfaces, including (but not limited to): customer service desk counter-tops, self-check machines, computer keyboards and mice, and printers.
  • We encourage any concerned customers, especially those in high-risk populations, to stay home if they are feeling ill or are simply concerned about potential exposure. Reported illnesses of coronavirus have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • All employees exhibiting flu and/or coronavirus symptoms have been instructed to stay home and follow MCL sick leave procedures.

In addition to thorough hand washing, the CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

All of us at MCL understand that this issue is cause for concern to many, and our hearts go out to those who have already been affected. If you prefer not to visit the library in person, you can contact library staff via our Ask the Library service on our website or by calling your local branch. You can access 100,000+ downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming video 24/7 at midcolumbialibraries.org. We also have curbside pickup and drive-up returns at many branches. Thank you for your patience as we work through this developing situation.

Sincerely,

Kyle Cox, Executive Director and Chief Librarian