But various modifications will be in place

   WHATCOM — Whatcom County Library System buildings will reopen to the public on Monday, March 1.

  The library branches will have modified services, limited hours and entry requirements for in-person visits in accordance with state government guidelines. Curbside pickup of library materials will continue. 

  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCLS buildings were initially closed to the public in March 2020, and then reopened last October on a limited basis. But they were closed again in November in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County.

  This reopening applies to WCLS’s 10 county locations at Blaine, Deming, Everson, Ferndale, Kendall (North Fork), Lummi Island, Lynden, Point Roberts, Sudden Valley (South Whatcom) and Sumas.

  These rules will be in place:

  • Everyone over age 2 must wear a mask covering nose and mouth at all times. This includes people who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Adult and child-sized masks will be available to those who forget to bring them.

  • Staff will not provide personalized, hands-on aid at computer stations.

  • To begin, open hours at most branches will be 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  

  • Because buildings are limited to 25 percent occupancy, patrons are encouraged to keep their visits brief.

  • Visitors must keep a distance of six feet between themselves and others.

  • People who are not feeling well should stay home.

  • Anyone who does not comply with these requirements will be asked to leave a library building.

  WCLS will continue to offer alternative, no-contact services such as curbside pickup of library materials, curated “to-go” bags of books, DVDs, board games and magazines, and digital content at wcls.org/digital-content.

  These are health and safety steps WCLs has taken:

  • Staff have completed training and must pass a daily health self-assessment before reporting to work.

  • Lounge seating has been removed. Seating is available for computer users.

  • Public internet computer keyboards, mice and touchscreens will be sanitized between users.

  • Staff will routinely sanitize high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer will be available.

  • Public restrooms will be limited to one occupant or one household at a time.

  • Early-learning children’s toys have been removed.

  • Public water fountains have been turned off.

  • Out-of-town newspaper subscriptions have been temporarily suspended.

  These arrangements could change based on county health trends and guidance. WCLS is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Whatcom County Health Department.

  The Bookmobile will continue its normal schedule with walk-up service at Glenhaven (Mondays, 3 to 7 p.m.), Birch Bay (Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m.), Wickersham (Thursdays, 3 to 5 p.m.) and Lake Samish (Thursdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.).

  Bellingham Public Library, a separate library system that serves residents within city limits, will not reopen buildings at this time. 

  Visit wcls.org/info or call 360-305-3600 for branch-specific service details.