MEDFORD, Ore. — All 15 libraries in the Jackson County Library Services will shut down indoor access and return to pickup only on Monday, August 30, the organization announced on Thursday. The change is due to the local surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“The number of positive cases in Jackson County has reached the highest level since the beginning of this pandemic,” said Library Director Kari May. “We are changing our service delivery model to keep our staff and patrons safe and to help mitigate the opportunities for this virus to continue to spread. We recognize that libraries play a critical role in our community and encourage our patrons to call or visit the library online to request the materials they need.”
Library patrons can pick up held items during normal open hours and must bring a library card or photo ID. Masks will be required during collection.
In-person browsing will not be available, but patrons can use the online catalog and curated staff booklists, subscribe to the Library Connect blog, or use JCLS Discovery to request personalized book recommendations.
"The library provides diverse virtual programming and maintains a broad collection of recorded programs on the JCLS Beyond YouTube channel," JCLS said. "The popular Library of Things and Take & Make kits will remain available during front door service. The library’s extensive digital collection is available for remote access and includes audiobooks, eBooks, digital magazines, streaming movies, and music downloads. Reference and tech support staff will be available by phone, email, or virtual appointment."
JCLS said that social services assistance will still be available by phone or email to patrons seeking support or referral to resources that address mental health challenges, food or housing insecurity, and more. Outreach to Child Care will continue to deliver book bags to participating child care sites throughout Jackson County and At Home Services will continue to deliver materials to patrons who cannot come to the library due to age, illness, or disability.
Storytime @ Home kits are also available to borrow from the library collection and include a set of themed books, songs and rhymes, a toy or game to reinforce concepts and develop motor skills, activities that expand on early literacy and learning, and a coloring sheet with crayons. Bags are available in English, Spanish, or bilingual.
JCLS also has an online collection of #StayHome resources, including information about COVID-19 testing, funeral assistance, trusted resources on COVID-19 vaccines, and library FAQs.