WHATCOM ­— County Library System staff are ready to begin a safe phased return to services, patrons were told last week.

  The first step is to begin processing holds and returns this week, while library buildings and remote book returns remain closed to the public. No book donations are being accepted for now.

  “As soon as we get caught up, our next step will be to schedule curbside holds pickups at dates to be announced,” the library system said.

  Library staff will be managing the return of 111,630 books and other library materials and distributing 3,886 items patrons currently have on hold.

  • Village Books set a soft reopening for Monday, June 8, allowing customers back in stores.