It's time to get back in the library. Yakima Valley Libraries will re-open all library locations to in-person services starting the week of March 1. The re-opening is the result of region moving into Phase-2 of the state's “Roadmap to Recovery” plan. Moving to Phase-2 allows libraries to open facilities on a limited basis. Kim Hixson, executive director says "although we are eager to welcome patrons back into our community libraries, this is not yet a return to the pre-pandemic library operations that patrons are familiar with, and in order to safely offer in-person services, Library staffing and building open hours have been modified to account for the additional workload necessary to meet all required health and safety guidelines.” The libraries have updated hours they'll be open starting March 1 and you can find more information at the library website at www.yvl.org/healthandsafety.

Contact-Free Holds Pick Up service will continue to be available during library open hours, as well. Patrons should also be aware that, under Phase 2 guidelines, building access will be limited to 25 percent, or less, of each location’s maximum occupancy, and all patrons over the age of 5 years old must wear a mask or face covering that meets CDC guidelines while inside library buildings.Library staff will continue to follow previously-established sanitization guidelines, which include regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces and a 48-hour quarantine of all library returns.Additional health and safety measures for limited in-person library services are as follows:

BUILDING ACCESS
In-person library visits will be limited to 30 minutes per person, per day.
Building access will be limited to 25 percent,or less, of maximum occupancy.
Because building access will be metered, staff will monitor the number of patrons in the building and may need to ask patrons to wait for others to leave before they can enter.

FACE COVERINGS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
With the exception of children under 5 years old, all patrons and staff must wear a face covering or mask that meets CDC guidelines, at all times while inside library premises
Staff and patrons should maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

PUBLIC COMPUTER ACCESS
A limited number of public computers will be available for public use, with sessions limited to 30 minutes per day.
Library staff will be unable to provide any computer assistance that requires contact within 6 feet or less.

CONTACT-FREE PICK UP & BOOK RETURNS
Contact-Free Holds Pick Up service will be available at all community libraries during revised open hours, effective March 1, 2021
Patrons should return all library materials using outdoor book returns, wherever possible

HEALTH & SAFETY PROCEDURES
Library staff will sanitize public computers after each use
Library staff will sanitize self-checkout machines and other high-touch surfaces on an a regular basis
All returns will be quarantined for 48 hours before again being available for checkout.

PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND OTHER UPDATES
Inter library loan requests will not resume at this time
In-person library programming will not resume at this time.