PORT ANGELES — Public libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay have expanded curbside service hours.
The North Olympic Library System (NOLS), which oversees the four libraries in Clallam County, began the new hours on Monday.
The Forks, Port Angeles and Sequim libraries will be open an additional six hours each week and the Clallam Bay Library will open an additional four hours each week.
The new curbside hours are:
• Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday.
• Clallam Bay — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; — 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
NOLS officials had hoped to begin offering limited in-library service in late 2020, but those plans were put on hold Nov. 15 when Gov. Jay Inslee issued a new set of restrictions in response to the rapid increase of COVID-19 rates across the state, Library Director Noah Glaude said in a press release.
Although new guidance allowed libraries to open at 25 percent capacity beginning in October, the NOLS board and management team agreed that beginning to offer in-library service during the final months of 2020, while Clallam County experienced its highest positivity rates of the pandemic, was not appropriate.
“Restoring services within the library’s buildings, such as browsing and public computer access, is NOLS’ highest priority, but it must done in a way that considers and mitigates the risks to patrons, staff and the community,” Glaude said.
At this time, all NOLS facilities remain closed to the public, but curbside service is provided in addition to programming and services online.
NOLS has been preparing for the libraries to reopen, Glaude said, hiring new staff to fill positions that have been vacant since the spring, moving furniture into safer configurations and developing new procedures.
As soon as state guidelines allow, and Clallam County is no longer in a high-risk category for COVID-19, NOLS will begin offering limited in-library service as soon as possible, Glaude said..