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News / Life / Clark County Life

Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries open for curbside pickup

By Erin Middlewood, Columbian Managing Editor for Content
Published: June 26, 2020, 6:01am
6 Photos
Linda Mackie of Vancouver returns library books at Vancouver Community Library on Tuesday.
Linda Mackie of Vancouver returns library books at Vancouver Community Library on Tuesday. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries have begun accepting returns as well as offering books for curbside pickup.

“We’re excited to start getting materials back in the hands of the community,” said Amy Lee, FVRLibraries’ director of public services. “We know how much patrons miss having access to the library and our materials, and we certainly miss serving them.

Libraries have been closed since mid-March due to shutdown orders intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now that Clark County has moved into the second phase of the state’s gradual reopening plan and the governor has clarified procedures for libraries, eager patrons can put books, DVDs and other materials on hold for curbside pickup.

“We have created safety guidelines based on best practices,” said Tak Kendrick, FVRLibraries’ communications and marketing director. “We’re trying to minimize contact.”

Because research has shown coronaviruses can survive for three days on surfaces, returned books are boxed and set aside for 72 hours before library staff check them in. The library asks patrons to allow five days for returned books to be removed from their accounts.

To get your hands on books and materials, you can place a hold on no more than 10 items. Once you’re notified that your checkouts are available at your preferred branch, call to schedule pickup. Appointments are available between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Branches have pickup locations accessible by car, foot or bike (except Vancouver Mall Library, which offers pickup at a table inside the mall in front of the library). Look for curbside pickup signs, pull into a numbered parking spot and call to let staff know you’re there. Staff will ask you to open your car trunk so they can place the materials — already bagged and checked out to you — in your car for you without any contact.

Branches are also offering virtual services, including Wi-Fi access from their parking lots. The popular Summer at Your Library program is back — but you’ll have to watch the craft workshops, snakes and juggling online — with a drawing for prizes after August 15.